I wish this field wasn’t so red. I wish I never met your mother. I wish I could coherently
explain all the ways I am enormous-
ly a disappointment. Poppies, the official
flower of Israel, in Hebrew named kalanit
Poppies in Arabic, named shaqa’iq
after wounds, grow wild
in Palestine. Do you remember
the plans we made to visit.
Strawberry smoke leaves
our lips as we argue, or was it
exorcism, a field of ghosts
seeking exit from misshapen
mouths, a malpractice in first
Did our pasts play together,
with petals and kites. The tender-
ness of air before genocide. Funny
story about love and electricity:
same field, same source
can’t bring forth a current.
Zaina Alsous is the daughter of Palestinian Muslim refugees and currently lives and organizes in the U.S. South. Her work has appeared in The Offing and elsewhere.