The Gaza War: A Poem

The Gaza War

 

First the enemy dug under my heart and filled in my arteries with cement.

 

My mind plays back the aerial footage,

night-vision,

my international center for compassion

bombed into a billion bits of dust.

 

Every day I erect protective edges.

 

 

When the dust clears there is:

A hole.

And buried under the hole? Missiles.

And buried under the missiles?

Holes.

 

My ears have been hit by two thousand missiles.

The missile of ‘they could have built a hospital!’

The missile of ‘they kill children!’

The missile of ‘genocide’! The missile of, ‘hey, look at the other genocide!’

And, finally, the long-range missile of ‘why are you mentioning that genocide???’

 

My eyes hurt from darting back and forth. All around me people are running to shelters. And when they come out they look up to the sky.

To the heavens.

To the scoreboard.

And then they run back again. But I stay up here on the roof, watching the fireworks, listening to the song of shrapnel.

 

In my veins I can feel the Ebola virus start to spread.

God said it was o.k. to kill them all.

Throw them into the sea.

And the worst of all: You all have to think the way we think or we will hurt you.

 

I feel dead.

Some vital organ has been kidnapped.

And there isn’t enough room at the morgue.

Because, really, who builds morgues for war?

 

My skin is on fire.

I mourn for Jerusalem. But more than that I mourn for the dead dreams.

Those dead, baklava-sweet dreams. Cardamom dreams.

 

And yet, I don’t let go of them.

 

I cling to them like a human shield.

I wrap my arms around them and crouch down to child’s pose.

 

O Land of Milk and Honey,

I mourn for your young people.

But most of all I mourn for the folks old enough to remember what could have been.

 

For in each of them is a dream, a dove ready to fly high above this iron dome.

 

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