by Tariq Luthun

time is the greatest gift
one can ever offer, because it is
the only thing we cannot

take back. It is the same
reason I will not go
to war for a country

I cannot belong to.
I cannot be well-
versed in fast enough to

beckon the tongue to give.
& give lip— all split
and dry with new

breath in the morning.
All I can offer
the land of my parents

is the promise

that its proper name will not be lost
on me. The curse of the diaspora is to
become a scholar:
an urn for all
the instances their hands
were too small
for anything less
than ash.

Is there a word for it? That
sensation of inner lung
being coated by the dust

of another man’s wake.
I might as well read:
palestine, phulisteen,
a severed realm

of artifacts, a museum
filled with too much

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