|Publisher:||Copper Canyon Press|
|Product dimensions:||7.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
They wanted to tear down the tulip tree, our neighbors, last year. It throws a shadow over their vegetable patch, the only tree in our backyard. We said no. Now they’ve hired someone to chainsaw an armthe crux on our side of the fenceand my wife, in tousled hair and morning sweat, marches to stop the carnage, mid-limb. It reminds her of her childhood home, a shady place to hide. She recites her litany of no’s, returns. Minutes later, the neighbors emerge. The worker points to our unblinded window. I want to say, it’s not me, slide out of view behind a wall of cupboards, ominous breakfast table, steam of tea, our two young daughters now alone. I want no trouble. Must I fight for my wife’s desire for yellow blooms when my neighbors’ tomatoes will stunt and blight in shade? Always the same story: two people, one tree, not enough land or light or love. Like the baby brought to Solomon, someone must give. Dear neighbor, it’s not me. Bloom-shadowed, light-deprived, they lower the chainsaw again.
excerpt from When It Rains in Gaza
for Deema Shehabi
When it rains in Gaza, children run out
of noise, lift their open lips to heaven.
IX. White Phosphorus
A jellyfish of smoke,
you say aloud, look!
the beautiful photo’s
white tentacles and head
swim the sky
before they fall. A privacy
of glass. Ripples
of division. Flesh
from flesh, true god
from true god, made
in the walled
island of unforgiven
not not forgotten, dreaming
where the past will lead.
When it rained in Gaza, the ancient graves
of Beit Hanoun revealed themselves again.
of barbed wire I clear a line
sharp enough to ribbon the flesh
& the village, where Omar nests
in his palm a bird whose wing is broken
he strokes & holds to his lips
coffee with cardamom & the circle of men:
all day, nearby, some machine putts
as if trying to set the whole village to
motion: it won’t start
but something is happening, or will: