Monday, December 29, 2008

Three Hundred Sunflowers

My aunt shakes,
“who told you?”
her voice bleeds through the phone,
“three hundred in one night, and we
haven’t gotten over
our one natural death.”

Before my mom died,
she hesitantly collected sunflowers.
She would contemplate ripping them from the ground,
“Everything has a mother,” she would whisper,
in the mountain’s green ear.

A girl, two-years-old,
held the hand of stranger,
her mom told her never to but now,
she is buried in the rubble
of a mosque.
They were hiding from ten thousand bombs
exploding like light bulbs,
who is kinder than God to shield them,
in his holiest house?

A boy, sleeping under the bed, dreams
of windows, the bringers
of oxygen.
He smiles, in quiet revenge of missiles
that are sucked out of breath.
There is nothing more beautiful
than air.

In the police station,
down the street from the sea,
There was a graduation.
Policemen celebrated learning the laws of traffic,
on streets were cars park in the middle
to buy bread or bananas.
Drivers yell “we didn’t wait for the Israelis
to halt our stones and you think
we are going to stop for red?”
One policeman dreamed of the day he raises
his hand and freezes a river of vehicles.
He believed in the sugar of magic.
When the doctor arrived, right after the bombs
fell everywhere, he didn’t know which arms
belonged to which body,
they were all equally toned.

A woman, twenty two,
has been putting olive oil on her hair,
every single day, these last three months.
Her grandma, whose breasts are still firm
told her that the juice of olives,
pulls the hair longer, triple
its natural capacity.
She counted months and thought,
her summer wedding would have to brace itself
for locks of curly, black hair.
When they found her, curled up under her building,
with an iron wire passing through her heart,
her plastic hat was fully intact.

There is a man the neighborhood hated.
He used to beat up his wife,
in the dim of the night.
When he got mad at her,
for forgetting to iron his shirt,
he would throw her food out the door.
Pieces of the fifth missile,
pierced through him,
and the pot.

One of the men whose ceiling
melted onto his body,
really wanted to be in love.
He said he wasn’t in it for sex,
but for the drunkenness of emotions.
He wanted to be so love struck
he would write letters to the moon.
He wanted to say things like “your
eyes are the irises of the universe,”
and not feel ashamed.

Last night, I slept with my teeth clenched
pressing news headlines tattooed
on burned bodies.
I had a dream
of a big bandage comforting
the city with mint ointment.
as ten giant men were lining
the brown parts on the smoky buildings
my mom stepped in, and shooed them away.
She put my hands together
pressed them like jars of pickles,
we can do nothing but pray for healing,
so pray baby, pray.

Tala A.Rahmeh, Palestinian
Washington, DC

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