the effort, the weight

the efforts you make to silence tomorrow are so loud – only prayers can reach through time

may we share the fire of bisan, the honey of plestia, the embrace of motaz, the balm of hind, the grace of wael, the bravery of ahed, the sweet flame of ola, the steel of suheir, the tenderness of devin and ayman, the poetic precision of hala and mosab and the echoing magic of mahmoud

may we catch the tears of muhammed and each stranger we have witnessed in monstrous, private and broadcast grief

may we strike the bullseye like lara, teach with the warmth of anees, sustain the survivor’s wit of mohamed, nourish with the abundance of sijal, play with the mischief of tasneem

may we speak with the clarity of those gazan babies

may we share the heart of the grandmother who counts the olive trees amongst her wards, the eternity of her body around child trunk when the bulldozers come

may we remember the way home like diasporic palms full of key, may we return everything to love

(please no one tell me who owns land – i only care who loves it, i see who kisses the bark, who bleeds into the roots)

may we have the urgency of an imprisoned parent trying to find their future buried under the weight of house and apartheid and fear so voracious it argues for genocide

may we lift the weight of each hush, each overreach, each pressure, each lie used to execute this evil; may the stench and stillness of this mass grave anchor our stance: freedom for all life

stillness steadiness endurance. but not silence – we will never be quiet again. you will always know: we see you

cover our mouths. avoid our eyes. ban our shadows. condemn yourselves