All summer the garden was speckled with rotting figs.
Undeterred, my father made his usual rounds,
Fingering his prayer beads, cycling through them
Three times and then starting over again.
He inspected his mint, his spring onions,
Plants I only know the names of in Arabic.
His ascadinia were bruised but still good that year
And we ate them with young, sticky fingers.
Left where they were, the figs soon became holes in the ground,
Dark, festering, sickly sweet. Then the olive trees followed suit,
& began falling like bodies. Then the ascadinia did the same.
Then all the shops closed down. Then the sky became a glass dome,
And the sun shattered into a million little pieces,
And my father contracted Anger, the incurable kind.
After this, everything is only dimly remembered.
We spent the following autumn in a daze, walking around in white light
And understanding nothing. Sometimes things broke through the white noise, though,
Things from somewhere far away—guns, or fireworks, or the shouts of wild dogs at night.
Once it was three girls sitting on a rooftop in Amman,
A warm, endless summer stretched before them like a highway.
They talked of the Red Sea, of Jerusalem, of another city,
Of any other city. They wished they could go.
I wished they would take me with them.