A task I gave myself at the age of ten
Beside a pile of stones, under a neem tree,

Vowels beating rainbow tongues --
Write a sorrow. Ecris une tristesse.

Dukham erutha.

In Balata Refugee Camp
When someone dies

No time to wash the corpse
No time to weep or pray or conjure loss.

Bear the body right away
It must not stiffen in the room.

Who can break a loved one's bones?
In a tight alley he turned to say --

It's hot here, so little light.
Each night we see Jerusalem

City of gold, city of grief.

Come with me into the street.
Wait on a bench the UN gave --

       By barbed wire, just as we do.
Make it your task--

       Write a sorrow, write it true.