ARAB AMERICAN scowls. bares teeth. bares/ ARAB TEETH.
ARAB AMERICAN drives out to CEMETERY
to find the GRAVES of GREAT GRANDFATHER
& GREAT GRANDMOTHER. GREAT GRAND-
MOTHER lived to old age, prophesied. GREAT
GRANDFATHER, attacked by own heart, died young.
REVIEWER 1 says: THE ARAB is irrelevant to the
HISTORY OF LOS ANGELES. REVIEWER 2 agrees.
AUTHOR agrees. EDITOR agrees. BOOK goes into
production. the truth is, this CONVERSATION never
took place. was only imagined by ARAB AMERICAN
reading BOOK somewhere in LOS ANGELES.
ARAB AMERICAN in a driveway somewhere in
LOS ANGELES as a CHILD. GRANDFATHER’s
hands on shoulders. ARAB HANDS on shoulders.
ARAB AMERICAN older, somewhere in LOS
ANGELES. GRANDFATHER dead too, without
prophecy. GRANDFATHER older than his father.
PROFESSOR says we’re really expanding the scope
of AMERICAN STUDIES i mean we even have a focus
on THE MIDDLE EAST now. ARAB AMERICAN
nods, trying to remember if they’ve ever talked about
THE MIDDLE EAST in CLASS.
ARAB AMERICAN bares teeth. scowls in mirror.
orders MUJADARA and TABBOULEH from
down the street. ARAB AMERICAN could make
this from scratch, but feels comforted by proximity.
ARAB AMERICAN scowls. bares teeth. bares
ARTICLE 3 contains a mention of NINE/ELEVEN.
ARAB AMERICAN feels seen, regrets this. ARTICLE
15 contains a mention of NINE/ELEVEN. this time
not even an obligatory ‘ARABS AND MUSLIMS’
not even a ‘HATE CRIMES’ just a ‘_’
ARAB AMERICANS wake up on SEPT-
EMBER ELEVEN TWO THOUSAND AND
ONE and start to exist. in LOS ANGELES and
elsewhere. to say nothing of GRANDFATHER
and GREAT GRANDFATHER and GREAT
GRANDMOTHER and her PROPHECIES.
to say nothing of FBI SURVEILLANCE VAN
outside GRANDFATHER’s house in NINE-
TEEN NINETY. to say nothing of WAR(S).
to speak of IMPERIALISM. to cite SAÏD. to speak
of ORIENTALISM. to speak of AMERICAN EXCEP-
TIONALISM. to speak of WAR. to speak proudly of a
stance on BOYCOTT & not utter the word PALESTINE.
to cite SAÏD & not say PALESTINE.
ARAB AMERICAN says OOF!!!
what else is there to say.
arab american drives out to cemetery,
practices dying. prophesies dying in the heart
of a country. belly of beast. practices digging
the earth with hands. arab hands. what else is
there to say. our prophecies will never
be archived. our mothers’ words