Dina Omar, A Poem for Jenine

when i return to Palestine i will:

i wish i could hold your hand
across the threshold of a place we only hear in song,
smell in cloths and coffee,
and touch of each others skin

but instead i carry a backpack full of books

bag lady you gon’ hurt your back
carrying all them bags like that

Marx – is the bowl of change on my desk for the next meal
Benjamin – from afar that image is a starburst a beautiful ellipse and when we take steps
closer the lines are made up of a two solders hauling a man faced-down by the legs
Altusser – hey you! keep right or else my face will be the one dragged across the
Said – topos, reality does not matter to the powerful so we must take back what has
been taken for truths sake
Arendt – there is nothing sacred in the abstract nothingness of being just human…
Massad – i will not be your native informant, instead, i will be a pain in your ass
Foucult & Gramsci
June & Darwish
on my shoulders compressing my spine
my body a vessel to transport the bound pages upon pages

and i wish during the long car ride through the mountain
and across the bridge i could hold your hand
advise you how to pack 63 years of heart ache into one duffel bag

pack light, take your body with you – your jiddo’s lungs, your mothers hair
have never been home so take them with you

in the upper west side i dream of lost
lexicons to express some of what i want to say
your presence – black market sugar cane
when the world is bitter

i have done all my homework
roamed across countries and carried books across miles and valleys and rivers
all to go back to the place where all aching starts

when i return to Palestine

i will throw away all my paints
wear dishdasha everyday
never wear jeans again

i will plant my feet
let them grow into the earth

i will have a family
with the man who kindly
paints uprisings with his fingertips
i will make lebannah sandwiches
for all my loved ones

i will hold on for dear life