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SHROUDING CEREMONY BY TALA ABU RAHMEH 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 15 I sleep next to your dead body.

I love you when there is no noise, when

the roof on top of us doesn’t matter, when we don’t need stars

that haven’t shone in thirteen days, to taste the beauty of the sky.

 

You look so beautiful now that you’re no longer in pain.

The veins in your face have settled down and the ash of bombs no longer

bothers you. Your toes and legs no longer itch for air, and your frown

has let itself go.

 

I love you when I’m no longer scared of you dying, when I no longer

have to get close to you at night to make sure you are still breathing,

when I know the fight, I never wanted to fight, is over.

 

Outside the dead are on the streets and I’m concerned with nothing but

shrouding you with the whitest sheet. Like kings of old Egypt you deserve

nothing short of a wrapping ceremony. I want to wash every ounce of your skin

with lavender and warm your eyes and fingers with hot oil.

 

Outside a baby is dying under his mother who is dying under the bed holding debris

and the weight of poor construction (we blame everything on the occupation).

I don’t want their shouting to disrupt your cold slumber.

 

You loved me because we hated the same things, slimy okra (that looks and tastes

the same), the smell of red meat being cooked, and people who can’t make up their

mind. I loved you because you swung your eyes open like a child surprised

with laughter.

 

I sleep next to your dead body with the smell of trash that was burned next

to the right side of your face, the charcoal of our bedding.

I play with your hand, open and close fingers then hold on,

we are in this together.

 

 

 

34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 15 FABULOSO LESLIE A MITCHELL INVENTING HELEN WENDI LEE MARINA HEMINGWAY AD MARTINEZ GUITAR JAKE WALTERS THROUGH TWO PEOPLE LISA GORDON GOOD WORKS JACK STEELE NIGHT TRAIN ABBEY FENBERT FROM HERE TO LA SCOTT LAUDATI SHROUDING CEREMONY TALA ABU RAHMEH KEYED RED DODGE NEON CLAUDINE R MOREAU PEACE OIL ZEINA HASHEM BECK LOLLIPOPS DREW LANKFORD EASIER JENNIFER L COLLINS
 THE 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE BY MARTIN CHIPPERFIELD 34THPARALLEL@GMAIL.COM