Mazar

Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan—Behold the latest toll of war from Forty Meters Street. Ibrahim and Ismail, twelve and six years old, brothers, sons of Nabi, their slight bodies mangled and unrecognizable on the floor of their parent’s house. Their cousin Mawluddin, age five, son of Aziz Khan, his blood dried in black Rorschach blotches on his white morgue shroud. Their neighbor Samiwullah, age four, son of Akhtar Mohammad, dying at the Mazar Civil Hospital, most of his skin burned into an oozing crust.

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Playing Games

YESTERDAY, IN A field encircled by willow trees and surrounded by close to a thousand men of all ages, a dozen whip-wielding horsemen cantered around and into each other, grabbing after the carcass of a headless goat. A burly man in knee-high sheepskin boots, baggy woolen trousers, and a thick, black wool cardigan that barely stretched over his shoulders, hunched over the headless sack of goat he'd hitched between his horse's belly and his stirrup and managed to gallop to the edge of the playground, around a flag post, and back into center field to bulldoze his wild, dusty white horse through

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