To Catch a Train of Thought

As I run through the platform to catch the evening train, I am thinking of two poets.

I who have just stepped out of a meeting on the impact of financial downturn on the advertising budgets am now thinking of poets, exile and Palestine.

I belong there. I have many memories. I was born as everyone is born.
I have a mother, a house with many windows, brothers, friends, and a prison cell
with a chilly window!

I who live among coconut palms and monsoon drenched evenings; I who have never seen the olive trees of Palestine read these lines with trembling lips.

I have a wave snatched by seagulls, a panorama of my own.
I have a saturated meadow. In the deep horizon of my word, I have a moon,
a bird’s sustenance, and an immortal olive tree.

As the train moves through green fields swaying worlds away from Palestine, I imagine the land of milk and honey, I see the land of spilt blood and scarred flesh. Soon, I hear another voice that filters through the Sycamores; a voice passing through me like a needle so sharp that pain hides from it.

A man whose son died in the war walks in the street
like a woman with a dead embryo in her womb.

I shudder and roll down my window. I close my eyes and think of Mahmoud Darwish and Yehuda Amichai again. I wonder how memories about the same land form different utterances. I wonder how by being opposites, they become the same. I smile. I think I know why there are only dead poets and no dead poems.

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