It Is Insulting

It is insulting
that Israel thinks itself subtle.
Insulting that it builds settlements
on fresh rubble. Insulting
that it seizes every chance
to seize land without right.
Insulting that it governs by
the primitive logic of might.
Insulting that it uses scripture
for worldly gain. Insulting
that it prostitutes religion
to push a secular strain.
Insulting that it recalls
ethnic cleansing to justify the same.
Insulting that it calls that
ethnic cleansing by another name.

Rest in Texas

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.

_____

*grandmother
**grandfather