The girl from Jericho

The girl from Jericho silences

with the bridge of her tears -

the sight, is waiting for me,

burning in my mind, and I

the mother of none. To

wakeful wisps of a hairline

so thick it's been sanded with

the names of her ancestors; alone

in the desert do we walk, hand in

hand, as Jericho burns the candles

in my mind down to the white

wicks; inky smoke is what my words

have become - sight, as always, waits

for me. We layer the generational

gap of our mother, daughter

connection as I brush her cheeks dry.

She points, a shaky thin finger length

away from me to the hills above our

Promise Land, promised to be peaceful,

promised to raise our children without

this fire (this hate that scars her,) this

little girl from Jericho in my arms. Stare, she

says, and the stars swallow the land in

memorandum and view, a chicanery pecked

from gods greedy hand; the muscle sore

from his beating of us - down the path to

Jericho, down the road, down through the sand

stretched desert, and across the ocean: (God,

let my world go) let my people be free of

the destruction that comes with your tattered

name. A game! You have pinned us one against

the other like hungry slaves (who can kill the most

while reciting your prayer). I will eat the eyes

of my enemies, until I see all that you see. Create

with my two hands the shape of a child in my

cold womb and show you how god-like I can be.

How powerful my sex is, how delicate my child

is, and this girl from the burning mud-huts of

Jericho running, like the mouth of a river overflowing

with asking - she asks, and I cannot answer. As we

sleep underneath this bouquet of desert I stroke

her warm cheeks, kiss the spaces between her eyes, plead

to my silent household that we may escape the oppression

of denial, judgment, and credence - I am fortune found

and muted, bound to kneel before the lord of war, bathing his

feet in a basin of my shed tears, coupling the clay pots

of our palace (the strongest wife, to these

fishers of men.) These impeders, these slave

drivers, and their whips come down hard across

my breasts and the girl from Jericho watches

from the leaning doorway, her head covered in

veils and her eyes masked like the darkness

that creeps into my mind so often now. We are

no more, I think, there is nothing left of us and

no more of our kind to speak of - my sisters

and I have been oppressed since Jericho burned to

the ground, the bitter tongue of man has licked us

dry of equality. The child from Jericho puts her hand in mine,

small layers on top of the next and she whispers:

"all must change in time."