Volume 25, Number 4

right of return

this morning my mind
was elsewhere.
not with the news anchor,
not with the ideologue.

not with the masters
preaching to their prisoners,
not with the citizens
nested in their well-furnished bunkers.

this morning my mind
was with the boy
in the arsenal jersey,
sweat-soaked, breath of hot air
and cigarette smoke, teetering
on the see-saw of an abandoned park
in gaza city.

eyes like small coals
of tramadol-induced hibernation,
the boy
who swallowed the pill
in hopes of trading one reality
for another
where for one heart-stopping second
he might find his family
returned to him
around the rustic wood of their dining table
in the warmth of late october.

—Abraham Younes