sitting on a white towel

on our house’s backyard,

embroidered by the hands of my sitto —

the same hands that cooked the

sfihas, the kibbehs, the hummus, the falafel, the labne.


we ate with pleasure, on sundays,

the healthy slices of sweet watermelons

cut by the same hands that harvested the battikhas

in the fields of lebanon

as we listened to my jiddo tell of their childhood as farmers,

of the valleys and mountains of their homeland.


they planted watermelons and tomatoes:

battikha and banadura.


large, juicy, red, ripe slices.

safe slices.


we sat in a circle,

the whole family

— sitto, giddo, mama, baba, khalas, khalatys —

and ate, ate.


eating for an arab family is resistance and joy.


today i feel sad.

for the lebanese family's watermelon.

for the palestinian family's watermelon.

for the red from the blood instead of the fruit.

for the lifeless piled-up bodies

instead of sitting in a circle,

eating battikha.