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Memory Index: B for Bombs

Memory Index: B for Bombs -

BOMBS.

“It’s the bomb,” could be pizza, a song, or that little hole in the wall with coffee and Montecristo sandwiches you like, but double take if you’re Arab. Put the damn thing out of your mind if you’re Muslim. The joke isn’t worth it, the reference puts you on the list, no-fly, FBI raid, Guantanamo Bay, eye-roll and sand-n***er central from white folk who think you will turn up to the party looking like G.I. Jihadi Jane.

But their sight is stuck at the tip of their noses, they forget;

The bombs they drop on brown bodies make the earth red.
The Euphrates used to be pretty but now it has ISIS instead.
The bombs they drop for freedom make me wish I were among the dead.

Fellow Americans see freedom, and you’re swimming in your tears. They hear the star-spangled banner and you’re graced with an eagle shrieking, its yellow eyes filled with money signs and petrodollars, its beak salivating at the pull of odorless gas. You’re told to be grateful, but your taxes fuel fire, and anguish, and carnage. You can’t forget, because written on your aquiline nose;

They steal the souls of brown babies while you sleep in your bed.
The Euphrates used to be pretty but now it has ISIS instead.
Refugees can’t get any sugar, only lead.
Uranium, and Death Squads
white-phosphorus, and waterboarding
Abu Gharib,
Rape,
nuclear warheads.

They drop bombs for freedom and make me wish I were dead.

They drop bombs on brown bodies and make the earth bleed red.

Down the street of my childhood home, I experienced the reality commonplace to my people across the Strait of Gibraltar. Gas leaked and lingered through a neighbor’s house and the lady of the house turned on her stove for afternoon tea.

The explosion shook the whole street, I thought it was an earthquake. The kind I saw on power rangers when megazords and monsters collided and aftermaths on CNN. First the tremor, then the spark and I gripped the railing of my porch as the yellow aluminum siding house burst into flames and folded into itself, something fierce and forceful like a vortex or blackhole, force still beyond me. Its windows scattered glass like glitter, and I sat, a girl of nine, shaking yet unable to look away, wondering how such things could happen not knowing they happened every day for girls who looked like me, in faraway places close to me. My friend’s parents were dead and I never saw their children again.

Despite the cursed land and the tragedy screaming from the soil, in the combed over ruins two pink brick homes were built. The people who live in those brick houses now wave black and green flags outside their doors, and thrive eating Tinman wa marag (rice and soup), Bessara (split favabeans), and Moulkheiyah (Jew’s mallow leaves). They escaped the barrel of bombs, chemical oppression, and offset occupation only to take root in scorched earth that understands;

The Euphrates used to be pretty but now it has ISIS instead.
The bombs they drop on brown bodies make the earth red.
They drop bombs for freedom and make me wish I were dead.

“It’s the bomb,” the joke’s on you.

Memory Index: B for Bombs -

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Memory Index: B for Bombs -

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