Mitosis in the Burial Mounds
In my body rattle the dead like beads shook-up with longing in Rachel’s ovaries. Oleander, calendula or olive, Only the living sow memory, open their eyes each dawn to scan the fields. I buried a tooth for every kindness I recall. In the days between Yizkor and Yom haZikaron, some being of smoke fills my throat. Is an organ implanted in a body, a tree’s grafted limb? What is your heart’s fruition? Ima from Kafr Qassem, where exactly are you now, Neshama sheli? I think I should ask your home-town Sheikh, who wrote, organ donation will be halal. I ask my heart: do you hold two souls? We’ve cradled one another, not months, but years; should time condense to tissue, This, then? —a culture unfolding, beating its wings, in another. —and we all hold our parents. Do I contain four souls— No, her parents—six? My heart is splitting And living. This heart—what does it mean to you? Shireen’s question like rain pelting earth When that had done rattling in my head, I asked my heart how do you feel? She burst into streaks of water, throat of smoke: my kids— How old are you now? What have the years been for you? Who has cared for you? We used to tell the younger ones, stay together and take care of each other But our children begin by scanning the fields for a few stalks of kindness.
Poem ©2022 Ester Karen Aida
All rights reserved
Ester Karen Aida…
…is a writer, poet, and peace activist residing in Jerusalem, Israel. Her writing and art frequently appear in The BeZine.