The Last Poem I Write

On our trip to the Dead Sea, my daughter couldn’t stop crying because the salt content was so high it burned her vagina.

 

My best friend refuses to write about flowers but feels it’s acceptable to write about trees—because of the more serious nature of the subject matter.

 

There’s a moral obligation in poetry not to pass on cruelty through the poem itself. 

 

Yellow bird magnolia.

 

My daughter asks when I will put the tree swing up.

 

البستان is Arabic for the garden.

 

Rob Nixon calls “the inattention we have paid to the attritional lethality of many…crises” slow violence; he means this in the context of ecological catastrophe. 

 

The Arabic word for catastrophe is Nakba ( نكبة ).

 

The flowers in the vase are white lisianthus and heather. 

 

In the al Bustan neighborhood of Silwan, 13 families face home demolition to make way for a religious theme park where some believe King David owned a garden.

 

A major concern with the lyrical “I” is whether the reader can empathize.

 

Did you know David Jackson’s funeral photo of Emmett Till first appeared in Jet magazine?

 

The word magazine comes from the Arabic مخزن which means storehouse.

 

There’s a moral obligation in poetry not to pass on cruelty through the poem itself. I should take the line about my uncle burning newborn mice out of the poem I wrote earlier this week.

 

In the last poem I write, we pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill. There’s a provision for planting crepe myrtles along the interstate.

 

The problem with taking it out altogether, as I see it, is that it fails to consider intention.

 

There’s a moral obligation in poetry not to pass on cruelty through the poem itself. I really should take the line about my uncle burning newborn mice out of the poem I wrote earlier this week—

 

herbs gathered under the shade of frail acacias

 

—Or maybe I can turn it into a question.