Skyping Emma In The Berkshires

I miss simple days

like when we were Skyping

with Emma in the Berkshires,

over watermelon and hookah

in the shadows of the Baha’i temple

in the old German Colony

in that Mediterranean port city,

mixed more than most today,

where Isaac and Ishmael

at least tolerate one another

but Ishmael is stuck

at the back of the bus,

forced to drink from his own fountain,

and Jim Crow and Jesus Christ

had the same initials

and at that ramshackle bakery

I was introduced to zaatar

for the first time

in this land of loaves

and fish,

and introduced to gorgeous women

with nineteen-year old flirtatious smiles

waiting in line for Gelato

with machine guns slung

over halter tops and skinny jeans,

in this land of milk

and honey in my tea

and the olive trees lack sunlight

in shadows of concrete

but the walls are miles away from here

and here

feels almost European

feels less obvious

feels almost fair

separate but…

equal if you can ignore the conscripted kids

too young to understand

socialized to see

a dehumanized enemy…

and this mint lemonade

helps soothe my hookah-smoke singed throat,

watermelon helps cool me down-

town for a whiskey later

helps smooth

the sharpness of this reality-

just one ice cube

don’t water down,

truth is

it doesn’t seem so bad

it’s almost European

almost better

than Jim Crow

south

here

where my ears strain to understand

both Arabic and Hebrew

as I try to puff

ringed-smoke signals to the universe…

at the cafe

eating watermelon,

and smoking hookah,

as we Skype

Emma in the Berkshires

it’s easy to forget

about checkpoints

and concrete walls,

teargas,

shit-water,

and rubber bullets,

here at this cafe

where yesterday

can seem a world away…

so, lets stay

for one more hookah,

one more watermelon,

and a last round

of mint lemonade.

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