I feel an obligation not to cry
around my dog
else she gets frightened

and shakes. I’m not comparing
children to dogs like Israel does,
but they share emotionality

and deep sensitivity and her shaking
reminds me of the videos I downloaded
onto my phone of Gazan children

shaking in fear in hospitals
that had only weeks left until
US-made bombs destroyed them.

I dreamt someone was
writing on my eye,
the tip of the ballpoint pen

silently scribbling what I knew
but couldn’t see
to be Arabic calligraphy.

Half-ticklish, half-squeamish,
I was drugged or otherwise
paralyzed, sunk in a fluffy bed.

If I was Christian I might think
it was the intake process
for heaven, my virtues and sins

entered into the record. The eyewriting
began to feel like paper cuts
I couldn’t flinch from.

I was going to heaven blind and
paralyzed. That might’ve been worse
than whatever hell was. Or is this

what was meant by hell—not a
separate place for a different passport,
just heaven’s lower caste?

I couldn’t see it but I knew,
as if it had been whispered in my ear,
there were no Palestinians in hell.

In the bright emptiness,
that’s what made me cry
and force myself to stop.