Knowledge at the back of my throat.


I have so many tears. So many tears.

The Back of my Throat

Dubai, 09/10/2010

There is a slight burning chafing at the back

of my throat where this knowledge resides

somewhere between tear ducts and my lips that purse.

I cannot ask you so much. What should we call my newborn daughter, how to tell

a good watermelon from one that is dry,

just how to sweeten the faces in adversity, and why your eyes

remain bottomless green ether, unbounded by

words. Does he love me enough and

for how long, and maybe you can yell at me to get

off the couch to the gym, we could possibly

cry- together- at the endings of films we will forget, having remembered

nothing but that your curls were close to mine,

and you, thirty years older, would drop the same tears,

and sip tea with mint like we were friends, like this was ordinary family. You would hold me against

divorce papers, and hysterectomies,

tell me this shade of red hair dye makes me appear a washed out

tart, or encourage me to bead more shine into

these robes, or maybe teach me the patience it takes to

carve eggplants into the satiated bodies of

our guests. You could drive my sister cross

states to hang Christmas lights, with no one but

Fairouz and all the Palestinian spirits bequeathed us, for company. You could ring doorbells

like it was no miracle, and usher in the light of all the hidden corners of the world.

You could string together ropes of my broken pieces, wrap

a heart with hands that sculpt birth, make a unit one

of the ways the world breaks me.

I miss you, in all the memories that never happened,

in all the mornings that could have been

a future, in all the words

you never got to say,

in the faces of strangers who did not know to love you. In the countless

mundane moments where only

you would have sufficed.

Everyday,  the knowledge burning at the back of my throat,

searches for doorways of forgotten private

languages, hunting the one symbol

that could summon



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