POETRY
The Insurrection
Adam J. Gellings

The Insurrection
“In December, 2010, a twenty-six-year-old fruit seller in rural Tunisia, fed up with a life of harassment and extortion by venal government officials, doused himself in paint thinner, struck a match, and unwittingly ignited the Arab Spring. Hundreds of thousands of citizens in the Middle East and in North Africa, sharing his rage and despair, rose up against an assortment of autocrats and kings.”
- “The Assad Files” New Yorker - April 18, 2016

My cat stays on the windowsill,
his tail teases the flame of
a candle, his body —
motionless.

A building of journalists exploded
across from my home.
Who needs journalists
to tell me it's a rainy day?
So I stay in my home

sweet home, the only one
I’ve ever known.
Many doubt that I’m still here,
but where to go
when you’re all alone?

Buildings drop dead.
They tell me this now
becomes de facto capital,
I made it! The big city!
Booms! Plumes! Action!

Helicopters build nests
on the front porch,
wake me when it’s morning.
Shit on my windowsill.
Pull worms from the rubble,

tease my cat outside the
window —
arches his back.

One day he’ll get one &
bring it back home.


Adam J. Gellings is a MFA student at Ashland University, where he studies Creative Writing. You can find his work in Quarter After Eight, Rust + Moth & forthcoming in The Tishman Review.