Jesus Never Visited Gaza
We stood, reciting the names of the dead.
A non-Jewish Jew,
I violated communal norms.
I needed to share my grief with someone.
I needed to unburden myself with a siren
The list of the dead dragged on:
families grouped together,
seeking shelter in each other’s
arms, just as they had done when the bombs
pummelled their houses into shards.
Everyone was embarrassed.
Pronunciations were odd.
Arabic articles mixed with Hebrew and British dictions.
I asked myself why we mourn
and for whom we mourn
when the dead are gone.
The God I don’t believe
—the God I disagree with—
whispered in my ear:
we mourn our complicity,
we mourn to wipe from our hands
the creature comforts—
warm and cozy homes—
the guilt, soaked in blood.
The more we wash, the more putrid our wounds become.
They fester in the sun
of war’s delirium.
Politics repeats itself
like American drones in lands they don’t belong.
Jesus said that the dead should bury the dead.
He never visited Gaza.