After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.
Well—one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?
The minute she heard any words she knew—however poorly used—
She stopped crying.
She thought our flight had been canceled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late,
Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride next to her—Southwest.
She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.
Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.
Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.
She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering
She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies—little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts—out of her bag—
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.
To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There are no better cookies.
And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers—
Non-alcoholic—and the two little girls for our flight, one African
American, one Mexican American—ran around serving us all apple juice
And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.
And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands—
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,
With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.
And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.
Not a single person in this gate—once the crying of confusion stopped
—has seemed apprehensive about any other person.
They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.
Not everything is lost.
How I’m longing for the waves
to rush in
And to stay with me
for the time it takes to heal
peel of this skin
and end this burial within
I’m afraid the earth will lose its way and get lost in the vast universe
It will never find its way back!
Will my heart ever find its way back to my body?
How can my body just go on, like nothing happened?
Unaware of me
Disconnected from my will
I want to feel happiness
I want to feel love
I want to feel rythm
and sing the high notes
But my body
I guess it’s tired
Tired of my paranoia and hate and everlasting sadness
All it can do right now
Is keep breathing
A fragile senter of life too afraid to die. Encapsulated bacteria. All the happy people makes me so sad. They make me feel empty and alone. “What’s wrong?” I can’t tell them I’m a ghost. Because it’s not possible to be a ghost when your alive, right?
No dance through the night
Only sucking out the last drop of life in a lie
An opening of the surface
And I’m climbing inside
Of his walls
Of his dreams
Seeing beautiful things
I can’t find in myself
What am I without this escape
The terms don’t apply
The mind can’t relate
It’s a fog
That later will become
A wordless anger
Against a wordless strangler
I can feel it coming closer, I can smell it in the wind. Hidden behind beautiful colors it’s practicing it’s sin. At first it feels so pure. Rain and rivers washing through our bodies. Dreams, hopes, it’s an illusion. The black worms has not left my bones, and they will poison you.
I put feathers in my hair, I pretend I’m not there. I breath in circles around the issues, I move slowly with it, I sing loud, so that you can hear it: How much I want to feel it. I know the rythm, I know the melody, I know how to make you breath heavily. It’s an illusion. The black worms has not left my bones, and they will poison you.
We are layers layers layers, answers from the past. Echoes from something that didn’t last. Never fresh meat. Never unwalked paths. I’m reaching towards an unknown star. Glimpses of reality near yet far. Lay your body down with closed eyes, face to the ground, and sink into the soil. Enter another world, enter the void.
Inside of my layers I see time moving in trees, lakes, rivers and clouds. For every grey hair on my head I know I’m a little more dead. I am disappearing. The arrow points in the wrong direction. Stop. Time. Now now now now now. I am not. So I seek out. Into the vast machinery.
Black worms winds around the skeleton. Give me release you ugly son of a bitch. I’m not good enough. For what? I don’t know, I’m just not good enough. I want to be liquid floating through the veins of easy. No disturbance, no light, no air, no need.
You’re so clean on the outside, do you feel like that on the inside too? Are your viscera wearing make-up? It probably is. You’re probably as perfect as it seems. This is no scam, I’m having pure perfectness in front of me here. I bet your shit is colored pink and that it smells like roses. Fuck you.