Again, white stripes—phosphorous
and the footage shakes.

I try to hear a word. To translate a shaking
[      ]. When I ask my mother, she says: The sea

is so blue there. I know she is talking about the blue-licked
salt on her husband’s sheets.

She is looking at her younger hands
carrying the drained cups to the sink.

Even as the shoes sewage into the sea.
Even as the sardines wade in the sludge.

Thirty summers after
those cups were put away

she tells me she spoke to a phantom
last night. There was no reason

for [      ] to answer a stranger’s call
as bombs bludgeoned, missing the sea.

And now I’m making videos
of infants born in Al-Shifa Hospital

with atrial septal defects.
And my mother dials

wrong numbers again and again
as hands, as sound, as [                                                ]: garbles

About the Author

Priscilla Wathington is the author of the chapbook, Paper and Stick, which draws from her past human rights advocacy work with organizations such as Defense for Children International – Palestine. She sits on the board of the Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI) and is an MFA candidate at Warren Wilson College. She is asking you to resist the lie that you are too helpless, or too busy, or too small to do anything. Take your small hand and your small voice and add it to this symphony against the genocide taking place in Gaza; and speak up not only about Gaza but also Congo, Sudan, your own backyard, and everywhere that humanity is at risk.