Laylat al Henna First point of entry: When his boots Smashed through my door...
(I REFUSE you! You will not hear me scream, You will gather Neither information nor tears from me)
Bitch, he whispered, And heated up the wires.
Here he asked the question-- Here and here-And the skin swelled like ripe fruit
Jealously, he demanded names, Who? Who? And who? Who left the bombs for us On the road to Damascus?
So I spit out names: A name for every prick Searing stars into my flesh.
Here, I said, is Akka, And here is Haifa. Put it to me again... I have hundreds To give you.
I will not repress One village, One tree, one stone... So come closer with that wire: See if YOU can draw on me The map of MY homeland.
'So much for your land.' (These were his last words.)
Ribs mend, bones knit, When I wake screaming The night blankets me again, And I have learned How to ride the night mare From dark to dawn.
But now, Israeli, You will hear my knock at the door.
Still, I refuse both you and yours: I do not flirt with suffering, Even yours... My delivery will be express.
So you see, Commander, Israeli romance is not for me: Your ways will never be my way, Even as MY land can never be yours.
If I wed death now, You, Commander, Will be my witness At the crossroads between heaven and hell.
Before you and I part ways, I swear, I will henna my hands With your blood.
By Nabila Harb February 2000