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Loosing the Human Skin 

I count the joints of beetle legs, green black shimmer,

and I can’t remember the proportions that keep people sane.

I come to the party so I can find the backdoor, 

lay down with the rabbits, and lust for the dresses of trees.

I wonder if I have come to just this: 

a dissolution into the taste of doberman kisses 

the confection of small faces set with large eyes 

the blackstrap licorice all-sorts of serious young children 


when I’m in the kitchen, I mark my page with a knife

when I’m in the garden, I’ll take a tree for my wife 


I’ll sing the song of a thousand and one good-hearted women

who walked into the sea,  

daughters of dust, daughters of air 

they braided their hair  

to hold their heads together 


sometimes I forget I won’t wake up fifty  

and a man or a whale shark or a whale 

with the heaviness of the warm-blooded 

and not just this translucent cartilage conduit of nerves

scouring the sea for the smallest lives 


we have seen so many images of the inside sea,  

the layer of face closest to the teeth, so speak  

as though this were your second language, learned late in life,

and every word you have is a dam against the ocean of intent behind it.

Rasha Abdulhadi is calling on you, dear reader, to join them in refusing and resisting the genocide of the Palestinian people. Wherever you are, whatever sand you can throw on the gears of genocide, do it now. If it's a handful, throw it. If it's a fingernail full, scrape it out and throw. Get in the way. The elimination of the Palestinian people is not inevitable. We can refuse with our every breath and action. We must.

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