Art for Specific Details.
Detail from a 2004 poster by Ayham Hamada | Palestine Poster Project Archives

Specific Details

Detail from a 2004 poster by Ayham Hamada | Palestine Poster Project Archives
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Drowning in the time allotted for truce,
we manufacture spare hearts
in case we lose the hearts each of us has.
We’re uncertain of life’s worth
on the slipping edge,
yet it seems hope can’t be shelled all at once.
The minute details of war,
poison gas we can’t thwart
from settling our blood,
can’t even grab fear to toss it whole
outside our flesh. Dear God,
anxiety’s beat within us is louder
than a proximal bomb, but tell me
how will you convince the world
that the forest has no drum?
Specific details
fix our feet in place
as the house runs and runs
leaving its stones (its children)
behind: body parts,
fragments in memory.

 

                                        —Gaza

 

Translated by Fady Joudah

 

Read more from our series by Palestinian poets.

Hosam Maarouf is a Palestinian poet and novelist from Gaza. His poetry collection Death Smells Like Glass was awarded the Mahmoud Darwish Museum prize in 2015. He also writes on literature for various Arabic newspapers.

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