Mare Internum

By Taylor Miller

 

I boarded the plane livid

547 to Newark is cancelled. They’ll rebook you in Midway.

Next flight out is in two days. TWO days. I could have stayed in Tucson.

No carry-on bags, right?

The frustration, then elation had me crying at the ticket counter

My darling, today is your lucky day. Merry Christmas.

Snatched the paper and ran for the gate to La Guardia

 

Minutes before airplane mode: US SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS TRUMP TRAVEL BAN

Iran

Libya

North Korea

Somalia

Syria

Venezuela

Yemen

Nodded off somewhere over the Great Plains

I cannot recall which trip I traded the wonder and excitement for bore and inconvenience

A spate of turbulence and news of descent, to peer left from the window

The one clear day I come into New York, the Statue of Liberty squarely below

Saying cinematically nearly denies the timing

Here I cry too, I hate myself to buying this cliche

 

Never cared much for monuments

Now, the recurrent reminder to tear them down

 

After several legs I land in Ben Gurion airport

The trip, this trip, I was certain I’d be turned away

Nearly to my disdain

So you mean I’m not radical enough?

Blonde, blue, Ashkenazi Jew

 

What’s the purpose of your trip?

Visiting friends, visiting libraries

Libraries

Yes. Student is my occupation

 

THE occupation. I daren’t post I’m settling in

maybe worse, returning

Six million Palestinians can’t say the same

and any sort of elation now brings me great shame

Yes, the Airbnb is lovely and quite clean, it’ll do just fine

#StolenHomes, remember? (1)

 

My BDS bark louder than the bite

hummus-eating hypocrite

Starting an academic career out of proving Zionists wrong

Dad, and his JNF dollars

But shekels spent during these weeks researching tell a different tale

Now on multiple trips to Tel Aviv

No shortage of lies to tell myself each night

 

So I sit here in my studio, half a world away from the border in my backyard (2)

2,000-plus children largely unaccounted; separated from their families and detained as though time doesn’t matter and their bodies don’t need kindness and their souls don’t need nourishment

and the girls

Jeff Sessions you better keep your grimy fucking hands off these innocent bodies tellusshowus where and how are the girls

knowing it’s already too late

 

meanwhile

here on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea that shouldn’t be swam

because everywhere, migrants

the Aquarius stuck in limbo while I was in Marseille

I am a monster, my latest mantra

629 people, including children and pregnant women

ostrich politics

60 from waters near Libya to dock soon in Barcelona

soon

the ways we substitute for eventually

there will never be a shortage of bodies

 

but that’s what they’re manufacturing here

meanwhile

315 Palestinian minors in Israeli prisons

#FreeAhedTamimi, other snatched bodies snatch headlines

meanwhile

Yasser Amjad Moussa Abu Naja, age 11

Zakariya Bashbash, age 13

Haitham al-Jamal, age 14

Wesal Sheik Khalil, age 15

Izzeldin al Samak, age 13

Ibrahim al-Zarqa, age 17

Said al-Kheir, age 16

Ahmad al-Sha’ar, age 15

Jamal Afana, age 15

Azzam Oweida, age 15

Mohammed Ayoub, age 14

Hussain Madi, age 16

Leila al-Ghandour, age 8 months

children, medics, journalists—slain

these names but a few of the over 135 massacred since the beginning of this Great Return March

 

is not in my name, not in my Judaism all but a ludicrous plea for this blockade, this siege, this genocide some 90 kilometers away to end? against Goliath who acts for 70-plus years with impunity? he, they, no one is listening.

 

all-too-insensitively I answer yes. your efforts are too feeble and it is not enough. I sit in one of the coexistence cafes, shall we call it, near shuk Levinsky.

today is Shabbat and not one soul seems flustered by how yesterday 22 year old Muhammad Abu Halima was killed in cold blood

the heat

I can’t believe this heat

 

it’s been eight days and I still haven’t seen the sea

keep the kadosh, the baptism, the relaxation

we do not deserve the waters where sewage is intentionally spilled

no to illegal immigration via these ships, says Silvini

Al Awda sure to be shooed away

if only we knew what percentage of the waters were tears

of distances, shores, dispossessions that can’t be undone

until we wholly affirm enough

the bombs barriers embodiments of violence and violences

splicing and shredding and flattening

war is over if you want it

war is over, I beg of you to want it


(1) “There are 13,000 Airbnb listings in Israel, though investigations have revealed that many of the properties are in fact actually located in settlements in the West Bank. In 2014, the company’s rentals were used by 128,000 guests. By allowing users to list and rent properties that are located in illegal settlements and taking a 9-15% from hosts and guests, Airbnb is making money off of Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian land and helping facilitate settlement activity.” (Jewish Voice for Peace)

(2)  “At its core, the law allows immigration officers to access private lands—except “dwellings”—within the 25 air miles (28.7 miles) of the border. Congress also authorized CBP to set permanent and temporary checkpoints, patrol highways, and board buses, trains, and other vehicles “within a reasonable distance” of the U.S. border, which regulations in 1953 set as “up to a 100 miles.” These regulations were made to allow border officers to intercept unauthorized entrants who had bypassed checks at ports of entry.” (CityLab)

B’Tselem. (23 May 2018). Statistics on Palestinian Minors in the Custody of Israeli Security Forces. Retrieved from https://www.btselem.org/statistics/minors_in_custody

CityLab. (14 May 2018). Inside the Massive U.S. ‘Border Zone’. Retrieved from https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/05/who-lives-in-border-patrols-100-mile-zone-probably-you-mapped/558275/

Jewish Voice for Peace. (n.d). Stolen Homes. Retrieved from https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/stolen-homes/

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