A Memory of Ramallah

On the rooftop terrace we split a pita,
strawberry jam down the middle and
some stolen figs, found about to rot in the communal kitchen
early morning
the sun is a drop of blood on our skin
spilling into the city, filling the eyes of buildings
empty, vacant faces
from the war

we dip our fingers in zaatar, olive oil
making sign language with the earth
as our stomachs bulldoze the swell
vomit and bile, the acidic contents
of a stratigraphic body, sedimentary
moments that sit heavy
amongst the groves, now
a thousand years of kindling

We’ll reorient ourselves to the lives
uninterrupted, unperturbed by
acrid sand swept into the water
bans on drinking from the tap
or periodic brownouts
muting our bodies to the tune of static
the sky that fills with sparrows
spinning wings or still silver arms–autopilot drones
so little light gets through
we shiver in the desert

And when our host smiles, breaking bread
to share
his breakfast with ghosts
we bow into his hands
unsettled in place

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