The choice is immaterial:
turquoise waterways or
tracks through white-scarped mountains.
Violence now flows, now lurks
lazily awaiting a pretext,
reticular across the province.
Refuge may be found in the city’s precincts
and the gated enclaves of the nomenklatura.
Respite may be afforded at random
in settlements prostrate from past mayhem.
But never count on safety.
It is now only a dream
in this republic of derelictions,
where freedoms fragment into licence.
Mostly you will pass through hamlets
devoid of life except for
small birds singing, but unseen.