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You Arrive at A White Checkpoint and Emerge Unscathed

after Mahmoud Darwish 

 

Why is a boy an exclamation, 

and why are his dead a period?, 

why do his sinews tighten when he sees 

a Palestinian body? Does his vision narrow 

because of their flight, 

or because their world is raining with salt? 

Why is a boy with a gun different 

from a boy with a jail cell?, 

if the tools of rupture are our arms for 

repurposing the body, and the arms of 

the state are our means of repurposing the male, 

are we finally useful and breathing and nervous…? 

Does the white mean Night’s arrival?, 

or does night signal the white’s escape?, 

and when that white city boy becomes 

a White City man, 

does the hate in his heart subside?, 

or does it become an ellipses, 

a Bauhaus history of stories started 

and left unfinished 


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

has written about art, film, and literature for the New York Review of Books, The Nation, and Artforum, among others.



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