Letter to Arij, excerpt


Is Palestine still in your grips
are you managing to keep a hold
as it loosening from your fingertips
Has your mind been affected by sleep
of the hours you stay awake to unfold
a package, never knowing what to expect
one you’d rather not bother to even inspect,
as sometimes oil drips from the wrapping

That every day here in America
people so infatuated by money, so wretched
that even your long, lavish dresses
cannot seem to hide the feeling of being made naked

Is your identity being pulled
at the root like shall the olives trees
like shall the Palestian people displaced to roam
haunted, candlelit trails, in search for

to you, is it a candle burning to the wick?
For as long as it stays burning
will you continue to sleep
throughout the night, both yearning
and curious by its petering light,
Asking, could a flame stay so bright,
when enclosed in its own wax?
Does the fire really go out
or just keep burning elsewhere

My understanding
I laughed the first time you shared
that you stayed awake
until the moon decided to sleep
I thought you were just scared
to make peace with the darkness
but no, there is no metaphor
to describe the tragic horror
the lines on the news from Palestinian

Who’s names you continue
to scratch off your list
Oh wishing Allah to run this ink dry,
or hide the pencil and never be found
that maybe then you’ll put your paper list down.
And just be able to go to

lends us to our dreams
where we all must revisit
either our loves to the world
to wake up despaired
or of our haunts of our world
to wake up despaired
Either way, waking does not prepare
the ship, that is still stranded in the

hopeless feeling that I get
watching the news
and its tyrant, Him, on the screen every day
and I continue to pray
for you and your family
that there still may be a reason to sleep
and visit places and people
that yet haven’t slipped

But Arij,
I, too, cannot turn off the news
my musing becoming abused
fear, continue to open me
slash scars into my arteries
so that the evil may run freely
I feel uncomfortable in

that can’t I sleep tonight
That I must finish this letter to you
And even when I come to a stop
I won’t feel done, but will I sleep?
And, Tomorrow will we wake up
asking if we ever slept
or are we still just


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