Cobblestones & Heels


By Herod's gate,
In a twelfth century courtyard,

A woman in sweatpants,
Nails flashing crimson.

By her, a parrot in a cage.
--Tu tu tu tu hutu tu -- the parrot cries.

By the cage stones shift.
See this foot? She lifts up her heel.

1967, they napalmed us.
Imagine that, stones where a saint knelt,

Pitted by fire.
Baba Farid, you know him, yes?

We buried grandmother in her dress of flames.
I keep her chain, always

She pointed a foot
Gold swirled over torn bone.

On the ankle, under a loop of gold
Savage indentation.

She fastened the stiletto shoe,
Steadied herself

Against a parrot's cage.
Hutu tu -tututu- I hear it moan

Shadow hopping on a heap of stone.

I wear heels now
Take pride in my flesh,

Display what cuts.

We are strangers to this life

I and you.

Using a white hanky

She veils her face

Then rips it off, goes on talking
We see signs, that's all--

A dragonfly on a pile of green almonds,
Right by Damascus Gate,

Water in our taps
Spurting like burnt salt
By the leaking gas station
On the road to Abu Dis

Spray painted on the separation wall,
Huge letters -- 

Boys do it
When darkness falls -- 

Love sees no Color.
Dirt whispers, I'm coming home.