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05.23.04, sunday night

On a photograph recently shot in Rafah

The boy's eyes
will never again navigate
the besieged refugee camp
birthland to his
bullet-clipped life.

Never again will he see
olives crushed in their groves
houses demolished by bulldozers
Tonka trucks and pet doves, rubbled.
The West Bank's only zoo, trampled.

His eyes will never read
poems his sister slipped
folded between the hard black wings
of a book nor study
blue-veined, starry
maps revealing the distance
between present and faraway
nor gaze tenderly
at the moon
hovering gravely
luminous as a beloved
over dream
downy heads.

Never will he see
the journalist's photo:
his ragdoll corpse,
the man who cradles him,
running in Rafah
his mouth cavernous
mortal wounds don't always bleed
must he vomit the heart
a father sick with knowledge
his son will never again behold
another Palestinian dawn.


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