this is not a hotel: the prison guards

January 27, 2009 § 2 Comments

when in israeli prison i try to make a joke with the you monsters.  but your  english just isnt that good.  the american accent sounds like a lazy fold in the heart.

but did you choose this job? or was this the only job left? you yell at me for not leaving the prison but you locked the door from the inside.

you have to be ruthless to do this job.  you have to be sandpaper.  you have to push your eyes into your hands and refuse to admit that you are blind.

this is not a hotel.  it is a cemetary.  where you the dead guard living with threats and cocked fingers, with gutturral words.  the bunk beds are rickety, rusted, rattling. a posada print where the the the prison guards smiles are skeletal papier mache puppets and no one is allowed to burst the pinata.  poisoned candy. urine soaked blankets.  plastic wrapped food. once a day you come to threaten us.  this is a dance with the beloved.  spinning.  spinning. to find a center.  a strain of human dna in the jungle where the monsters are. my daughter stares at you wide eyed.

instead you ask questions you wont let me answer. the heart is always a lonely hunter here. and my daughter and i refuse to be mute.  like the tip of the knife, tip of the pen, tip of a bomb, the heart is dangerous in prison

this is a no man’s land.  no laws govern us.  no heart.  no grace.  just following orders.

this is a broken version of hell.  but you wont break me.  i am a witch. back up or  get burnt.  like a daughter in gaza you are bombing with phosphorous clouds of light billowing into the sky like laundry on the line.

no pens, knives, bags, phone calls, questions, answers, forgiveness, order

you close down gaza.  then open a cease fire.   with a lock that doesnt have a key.

just me and my baby girl locked in a room.  bright lights always on.  i drape mattress covers around the bunk bed like thick mosquito netting. i tell you we need an angel in this hell. you come back with dead food.

the screams of an eight month pregnant african woman rocking on her hips. this blackness floats around my head–like stars pulling open the center of the sky.  nothing here is breathing unless it has to.  this heart, my hands are heavy pulling my head to the floor.  there is no place to rest the ribcage.  it folds into an origami swan and lies on its right wing, cock eyed, with sharp edges.

13 israelis dead
1300 palestinians dead
and a cease fire as stable as a childs paper plane in the wind

i cross my chest and mouth the hail mary.you only let us out of the room to show us how locked in we really are.   baby girl spins between the bunk beds singing the alphabet to herself: a.b.r.q.s.z…

she climbs onto the bed.  shuts her eyes.  takes a couple of deep breaths.  and then laughs hard into the belly of her stuffed doll.  drags the to doll  the floor . pats the doll’s back while whispering–shhh–then tucks the doll under the blankets.

night night.

its time to go to sleep.

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