Where Moloch relished children sacrificed
Outside Jerusalem, where worms won’t die.

Am I a fool to claim the cursed vale
Has migrated from Israel to Mosul?

A pack of cigarettes for toothless girls,
For little women—Kafir, Nasrani.

From nine to twelve years old they fetch a price
Of two dollars in cash per pound of flesh.

You call it ibadah when Kafir lays
Across the makeshift bed as master prays,

Then sates himself in worship of Allah,
Unveiling violent God behind closed doors.

He veils her face, her mimed screams unseen
beneath the burqa for six solemn weeks.

Until this infidel holds to her breast
“Emancipation,” undersigned and stamped,

Her former owner glutted, trained, and gone
To suicide himself strategically.

He leaves her here infected, young and free
Bethesda’s healing waters out of reach.

—Joshua Hren