Vox Populi

Vox Populi: A Public Sphere for Politics and Poetry

Angele Ellis: My sister’s bones

keep breaking.

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

 

to remember

through the slash and pucker of scars.

Her scan

 

is a threaded black record of damages

a keffiyeh

knit from the marrow of our history.

 

More Arab

than I am according to our parsed DNA

her flesh

 

turns green against a blue blanket.

I think

she has a hole in her neck, a fatal bullet wound,

 

confused

by the photo of an American boy killed in Israel.

They say

 

he was just a Palestinian with a U.S. passport.

Powder

trickling down my sister’s arms reminds me of the dust

 

that shrouded

Dina, her young Gazan doppelgänger, as if on the day

my sister

 

persuaded my brother to run away from home

those bombs

rained down on them, not a childish cloudburst

 

of tears.

As if now her body has become a battlefield

her bones

 

collapsing like sticks and stones in front of a tank

that won’t stop

that crushes the oranges hidden in her pockets

 

to pulp

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). 

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This entry was posted on August 1, 2017 by in Poetry, Social Justice, War and Peace and tagged , , , .
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