Behind the scenes

When on tour in Switzerland, 
I was asked:
Why don’t you mention Israel by name 
in your stories and poems?

I smiled and answered:
Because I tell stories about my life 
and you can sense Israel in the background. 
It’s always there, ever present, hovering,
breathing down my neck.

The drones it sends 
are not to picture me laughing 
with my friends.
They aren’t sharing in my happy selfies. 
They spy on my life and 
buzz in my ears all day and night,
intent on driving me a little insane.

The bombs they throw?
They aren’t fireworks. 
It’s not for my entertainment. 
It’s for their entertainment. 
Should we steal his life or at least a leg? 
Maybe a hand, and we can eat it raw?

The blockade it maintains:
It’s not to save me from corona,
but to keep me from running. 
If the virus gets in anyway, all the better.

The annexation it is planning: 
It’s not just formalizing facts on the ground. 
It’s to erase our existence, step by step. 
Those steps are accumulating.
In one blink, we’ll be almost invisible:
the Uighurs of Palestine, in our own
walled-in Xinjiang Province.



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