When we lived in caravans outside of Jericho
the girls wore their bras in the shower
rubbed them with soap.
There was “choking cake” for breakfast and dinner.
We strolled around a single palm tree
holding each other’s elbows
in the mineral sunset.
Then Siberia — my hair started falling out,
a mouse or rat in the bathroom,
contraband sandwiches of sardines slathered in mustard.
The guards outside the compound are drunk;
fire their guns in the air.
First cunnilingus feels like lace
with the winter breeze coming through the window.
The town is surrounded by cemeteries, grape arbors.
I know, I know,
I’ve taken out the headlines, the Conflict, what you really
want to know,
but it’s only in order to show you
my girl body:
the one under the dirty khaki uniform,
the one under my father’s grief and sorrow —
the one becoming alive.