The Lost Arabs.
for my dear Najwan Darwish
In the kingdom of lost Arabs, every rock is a beautiful separatist until you spit on it. In some cultures spit is a benediction. Give me the waters of your tongue, any wet word can soothe a silent throat and mine keeps closing over my mother, grandmother and even my slowest, least kind cousins who can speak with the thick voice of our people and who, with each sloshing mouthful, locate themselves in our country. My teeth dream of the three nations that yellow their bone. I wet their edges, a clueless cartographer who has never known a hill or a river that wasn't stolen from someone and so can never know their true shape. When I look at our names, all I see are squiggly lines. Would you believe I keep trying to find the poetry in a wound? How foolish. How graceless. And yet: a man who knows his history told me it was in my blood. What idiot put it there? Maybe this is why I have spilled so much of it on the blade of authenticity. Cut down those I deemed false, all the others I loved--and love-- but refused to become. Every day my certainty collapses. That I am lost. Or can be found. That there is such a thing as Arab. None of this is real, it exists only in your mind, the stone I cleaved with this sword. Pull it out if you can, if you dare a kingdom awaits the steady hands of a new butcher. I confess myself unequal to the task.
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|Date:||Jun 22, 2018|
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