Kazim Ali

Issue #
September 6, 2013

Mosque in Gallilee

Sketching the outlines of the country
I know by heart now how far I travel
From Haifa to the eastern sea
Listening to how long history echoes

We passed a ruined mosque on the road
Not knowing if it was destroyed in 48 or 67 or 73
One side of the room lying open to the fields
Inside the walls marked by graffiti in four languages

The mihrab blackened by fire
Not less holy and still marking direction
Across the street a dead cow lying on its side
Three ropes hang down from the minaret

Some Hasidic boys have scaled up the side
And sit on the balcony eating sandwiches
Or were they saying their prayers.
Perhaps they were listening to the language of the land,

Or the abandoned mosque, or the limp carcass
On the side of the road?

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