Searching for a Palestinian ‘After’

Searching for a Palestinian ‘After’

Searching for a Palestinian After


“The past is a future we return to”
—Fargo Tbakhi

After the Nakba, there was the Nakba of Before: Nakba of earth
less-split, Nakba of root-less hollow, Nakba of take and take
-back. Nakba where 1948 was less a time than a state

of []. And after, there was the Nakba of Naksa, the Nakba
of Protective Edge and inescapable decade, the Nakba of tear

gas, of Nabi Saleh, of Sheikh Jarrah. And after the Nakba

of dismembered starlight, of atom’s split and DNA frag
-ment, of bio-protocol as open-air prison, there was the Nakba
of recursion of Gaza of Nakba of recursion of Gaza. And two

carcinogenic oceans later, there was the Nakba of the beforeless
I. Of the entangled I. In that country, Nakba was the only mother
we returned to. And when the Nakba of metaphor. And when

the Nakba of fatherless breath. And when the slurred speech
Nakba, when the backfired dendrite Nakba. And when the Nakba
of sellout’s handshake birthed the Nakba of American

Letters birthed failure of ع and stopped glottal. And when body was Nakba
of taa marbuuTa. Tonguetied,

from the Nakba of discourse and settler’s
chant, I emerged, a smiling creature, to nod through this hysteria of a light

-shorn language.And when the Nakba of heaven’s abandonment.
And when the Nakba of Eden’s singe. When, funeralless, the Nakba
of Before, of BeforeBefore, happened inside of me, I didn’t know

whose field to burn, whose hillside to abandon, whose wings to re-syntax
after—yes, we flew towards after and were given, instead, an impossible

beyond: Nakba of horizon’s mourning. Nakba of unreachable of
of body النهر, of body البحر – body this one-sided light of a dying sun.