Vox Populi: A Public Sphere for Politics and Poetry
A midnight cough sharp as a rifle shot
cracks a rib.
Hefting a hissing tomcat by its scruff
shears a wrist.
It’s not only skin that consents
through the slash and pucker of scars.
is a threaded black record of damages
knit from the marrow of our history.
than I am according to our parsed DNA
turns green against a blue blanket.
she has a hole in her neck, a fatal bullet wound,
by the photo of an American boy killed in Israel.
he was just a Palestinian with a U.S. passport.
trickling down my sister’s arms reminds me of the dust
Dina, her young Gazan doppelgänger, as if on the day
persuaded my brother to run away from home
rained down on them, not a childish cloudburst
As if now her body has become a battlefield
collapsing like sticks and stones in front of a tank
that won’t stop
that crushes the oranges hidden in her pockets
leaving her only a husk, a dripping acid stain.
Copyright 2017 Angele Ellis. A version of this poem appeared in Under the Kaufmann’s Clock: Fiction, Poems, and Photographs of Pittsburgh, with photos by Rebecca Clever (Six Gallery Press, 2016).