Nathalie Handal

1969 / French / Palestinian / American

Yesterday Hours

I traveled nowhere where I could not be found.
I knocked on every neighbors' door, stole every pillow,
wiped away the ants on my kitchen table, leaned against
the hollow cold wall for hours, looked at the dirty curtains,
the stale jam, the rusty stove, the broken chimney,
the burnt lampshade, the faded map, the covered mirror,
the unmade bed, opened my arms to those never coming back,
listened to the licking water drops from the roof,
the crickets and the absent voices arguing
—a house grieving.

I was dead then, then the cisterns were empty, no water
just the fallen screams of mothers holding their dead children,
then I realized I would never know the difference
between yesterday and the hours that would came
than again, what is the difference.
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