First listen, hear the mizzi yahudi minerals singing
the stories, the rivers of Eden that lie underneath.
Put one in your mouth
Taste fallen flame-red pomegranate flowers,
crushed green olives, sweet jasmine, broken spears,
claypots, old wine, how Jerusalem pigeons are laughing doves.
I offer street stones to my friends at the local cafe.
It’s too hard for them, it breaks their teeth,
instead they offer their own stones.
My pockets are heavy with stones.
I put one in my shoe to remind me
of Babylonian journeys.
I offer one to the cleaner with copperwood eyes.
His name is Ahmad Son of the Wind.
He teaches me the Hebrew greeting Morning of Honey.
With a Jeremiah stone in my mouth
I ask, How is life for you here?
We share our Arabic stones.
He tells me, I do not let wild dogs enter my head.
He tells me, Abu Aviv from the corner shop is like a brother.
He tells me, he has a friend in Iraq, she is a Jew. (I thought there were only three left.)
His words turn my stones to tears.
Speak to the rock, speak to the stones
you cast aside with your sneaker.
I hold up my stones
they hold up time.
I reoffer them at the cafe
to the mother who slept the night in protest tents,
to the professor who straightens his glasses, smiles and calls me naive,
to the lawyer whose Iraqi Jewish father lived in an immigrant camp for ten years.
I drop stones into their coffee cups
and watch how they overflow