My Tata* is from Yafa, a city she outlived.
A Jesus of a city, killed and resurrected.
She and my Sido** were ageless;
their ages left on papers left in places
impossible to revisit except in nightmares.
For years and years, they sought refuge
in Saudi where there was no welcome,
then, like birds, they flew after their young
to the land of black and blue,
and in that no-man’s land
their bodies found a home.
On a freezing day with no rain
I searched for them among the graves.
I found them boxed in unnaturally,
unable to give themselves back to earth.
Tata’s life bracketed in approximate dates,
her name in a tongue she did not speak,
her husband not beside her. And he.
Sido’s grave bore no name, no time,
no language. In death as in life,
made to feel invisible.
My eyes were wet, for the cold that day stung.