Because we named the land in blood and ink and everything held by the land to our use we named— dirty with the name— because we bought this land when ash became sky and the smell of burning drifted because my grandmother dreamed it instead of eating death and now new trees grow over the graves because the ruined promise because two pounds of shrapnel drawn from Noams back because Salim's house forced open like a jaw a bag of pita scattered where the kitchen was because we can survive in any soil like rats because until the end of the world we will scratch out the name
Letter to Jerusalem
To hold the bird and not to crush her, that is the secret. Sand turned too quickly to cement and who cares if the builders lose their arms? The musk of smoldered rats on sticks that trailed their tails through tunnels underground. Trickster of light, I walk your cobbled alleys all night long and drink your salt. City of bones, I return to you with dust on my tongue. Return to your ruined temple, your spirit of revolt. Return to you, the ache at the center of the world.