“All this Beethoven and rain.”
I used to be gold. First prize
collarbones, atomic number
I think of our bodies unhinging.
Dismantling a masterpiece we
worked so hard to build with
creased hands. A workshop of
cracking spines to straighten out
the way we would slouch.
Maintenance was: drilling openings
inside each others joints, stitching
ligaments, embroidering our hopes
beneath surfaces in cryptic codes
When I arrived I was sun. Already
sweltering inside your pores,
glazing skin in honey residue.
My promises rinsed over in drizzling
rain, marinating your bones, flooding,
breaking into the current network
of your nerves.
Often, all I have are promises.
It starts with a loud rumbling noise
from the inside out, a vicious clap of
thunder rendering breathing patterns
defenceless. An expansion of pressure
that is too close for comfort.
When I think of slipped disks,
they remind me of those stepping stones
we crossed towards the Colosseum
we had in our minds.
We hung expectations from our shoulders.
Self depreciation is a gale force wind
who knocks once, twice, strikes fragility
down with her fury—ungluing the grip
beneath my feet, begging that I get familiar
with my knees.
She says, “You’re going to have to look at
them up close if you want to learn how to assess damage.”
When I unzipped my ribcage I saw those
impressions that you’d left on my heart,
ransacked awareness told me you’d been
here, moulding yourself between my
Last night I set a fire,”
and watched as it burn the end
of the rope that I’d been holding
to keep you
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.”
Go Philly! Love these ads.
This is what people see as they commute to work in Philly.Hollaback Philly is absolutely doing it right.
100% doing it right
Really liking that there’s a campaign that deals with street harassment. Although perhaps the message should be, don’t harass people, instead of yell back at them. Not everyone has the circumstances to be able to yell back. There are obvious safety concerns, as well as the simple fact that not one time that I’ve yelled back has that helped for the better at all…
I saw it as a call to bystanders to not just walk by but call someone out, not necessarily the victim calling them out. The victim knows what street harassment is. I saw it as a campaign for the bystanders. So if someone is harassing a woman, his buddy next to him would call him out. Not the victim.
My absolute favourite cat ever. This is a manul, or pallas cat. Found in the Afghan mountains, they’re one of the oldest pure-blood cousins of our own goggies.
they look like fat balls of rage
Just gonna leave this here
That last picture looks so much like how I imagined the Cheshire cat. I didn’t know that expression was possible on a real cat. Whoa.