Skip to content

The Man Who Writes Newspaper Articles While The Trees Disappear And No One Listens

Art for The Man Who Writes Newspaper Articles While The Trees Disappear And No One Listens.
C
o
l
u
m
n
s

For several days
my grandfather cried.
In the end he admitted he was alone,
as though he didn’t have seven sons
who had given him twenty-five grandchildren.

My grandmother at home,
a basket of figs between her feet,
is daydreaming as she carefully peels
and feeds them to my grandfather like he’s her child.
This now is the shape of their kiss: her fingers
on his lips.

Around them, everything is a memento of forgetting.
No dust in this house
their flesh covers everything
even the cushions.

They’ve stopped sleeping over at other people’s homes.
They are residents of their own bodies and their home
is collapsing over them while their flesh
grows over their flesh.

In the same basket
beneath the good fruit
my grandmother finds small hearts
that belong to us, her twenty-five grandchildren
scattered across this earth,
incapable of love.

She’ll consider them just like she considers
all the figs
the ones ripe enough
and the ones that won’t do for anything
other than making jam.
The cold jam in the refrigerator
is our corpses
and it’s all they consume
since they lost their teeth.

                                        —Ramallah

 

Read more from our series by Palestinian poets.

Baffler Newsletter

New email subscribers receive a free copy of our current issue.