Saturday, September 18, 2004

we sip maria full of grace like it scalds our tongue, a harsh medicine like the one our mother made for us when we were sick - something that seeps through our throat directly into our spines. i think we all have stories of escape, the ones no one likes to talk about, how we got out while others couldn't. this movie is medicine, and the sickness is forgetfulness, something we caught between here and that home we know as nowhere.


ghaflah - the sin of forgetfulness
(by dima hilal)

born by the mediterranean
our mothers bathe us in orange-blossom water
olive trees and cedars
strain to give us shade
we come to america where they call our land
the East meaning different/dark/dirty
we soon forget
our grandmothers combed hair like ours
we wish our hair blonde our eyes and skin light
we know barbie
looks better than scheherazade
we think french makes us sophisticated so
we greet each other with bonjour instead of salaam
proud of our colonizer's tongue
we forget the Qur'an sings in arabic

when we arrived
our fingernails pierced the palms of our hands
we stared at pictures of our children

eyes sockets carved out by rubber bullets
on the 10 o'clock news
our brothers and sisters spit up blood and teeth
and CBS declares them "terrorists"

now we turn away from bruises and broken bones
body counts and funerals
we know we cannot help anyway
we forget we once stood on the same ground
they die on
we look for arabia packaged by the west
we escape into clubs to watch
blonde belly
dancers named jasmine
sasahy almost naked
we eat pasty hummous at eight dollars a plate
and tell each other
how much we miss our home