I was sitting in my kitchen and it was raining outside.
A strange girl in the garden caught my eye.
She was an Afghan girl, and I thought she looked cold
under the lashing branches and leaves.

I went out to her, and she had four sisters: all
wearing headscarves, and they all had green eyes.
‘We are waiting,‘ they said; I didn‘t ask what for
but asked who they were.

For an answer they pulled the scarves from their hair
to reveal in each soft brown forehead
a stubbed horn, then as one
they rose as a flock of birds

and flew off. I ran to the fence to watch them hover
above the neighbour‘s house, at the foot of the hill
before they descended and disappeared.
My mother came to my side.

‘Perhaps they’ll be taken care of.‘
I shook my head, and went down the road
to the neighbour‘s yard, where rain made swallowing sounds
on oily water resting in barrels.

‘Hello?‘ I said. There was no answer
and I was turning to go when the back door opened.
Two of the girls stumbled out
their mouths gaping soundless, but a rusted sign

in the breeze screamed for them.
In their foreheads were neat bloody holes.
I ran away and below my feet the road was paved
with giant letters I couldn‘t read.