Her notes were indigo. On floor
in two-room shack, grandma hovers washtub,
wrings wrinkles into cotton-picked woven blouse,
sings to melody of detergent bubbles,
sloshes seven days’ worth of washing
for the clink of change so her three children can go
to school. “Education is freedom,” they’re taught
even though it’s post emancipation and freedom
ain’t free. She rocks and washes. Money making a slow rubato.
-previously published at Torch Poetry
if the salt-cured ham glazed
with honey is no longer
my sweet sweat on your
tongue and your fingertips
forget journeys along my
-previously published at 42opus
Palestine picture #1
And now dawn sprawls across my face.
Onyx stones for eyes are silenced by dust.
Somewhere a child must mourn the loss of me,
crave my feathered weight held against their breast,
wish to wipe my charcoal-colored skin clean.
Perhaps, you ask, whose hands have placed me here?
Whose hands cradled my long ears and fed me
pretend carrots, thought my being holy?
I lay encapsulated in broken
brick mausoleum, nestled between glass
shards that glisten about me like jewels.
One arm burst open, cotton innards
exposed. My other arm is stretched in emptiness.
Hold me. What joy there is in hands once more.
Palestine picture #2
For baby Majzara
I searched for your mother amidst rubble,
found her several meters away from you.
Please forgive me for leaving you behind.
I came back, like the evening stars at dusk.
They had you in a plastic bag atop
the ruins, placed you as if a shrine. Your
skin reddened by exposure to too much
sun. Majzara, I laid you on a bed
of jasmine, pulled placenta from your eyes
still accustomed to the dark and the damp
of womb. Daughter, had you lived past the bomb,
I would have loved to witness you in life:
capturing the air in your chest as breath,
hearing words dancing off your tongue as song.
-both poems previously published at The Drunken Boat