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Tarek Ghaddar

God-Shattering Star

I record the memory of a bomb,

if it is a star,

let it be a god-shattering star,

let it illumine a long-forgotten phylogeny

Et hhukekha eshmor altaazvehnee ad mehod,

refugee bus broiled by bombfire. I’m not in it.

Rabbana, la tuakithna in naseena aw akhtana

friends die, enemies die, the Great Barrier Reef died,

mafi shi tahht ein rabna ma bit mut,

Hezb and IDF fighters die, my pet turtle died,

Abel died at the hands of Cain,

I assume that one day Cain died as well,

Mont Blanc is dying, but the dye

of grey skies and toddler blood cannot fade.

Genocide, easy for Semites and Arabs

to say they instead of we, pretending

our shadows are unalike in language and body

even if bin is bin in Hebrew and Arabic,

our sons are our sons,

damm is damm, yad yad,

damm is damm— blood is blood.

why do the Aramaic children

crush each other’s skulls? if we all must die,

why do we die gnawing on our brothers’ bones?


Translations for lines 1, 3, and 5: 1 Judaic: I will observe Your orders, do not utterly forsake me 3 Islamic: God, please do not give up on me for my faults and forgetfulness 5 Arabic: There is nothing under God’s eye that does not die

Tarek Ghaddar grew up in Beirut, Lebanon. He attended the University of Miami for degrees in Biochemistry and English. He continued with a Master's in Public Health at the Miller School of Medicine, and will shortly be attending medical school at Florida Atlantic University. Trauma from war and his sister's cancer led him to pick up a pen. His work has been published in Eclectica Literary Magazine, Mangrove Literary Journal, Prometheus Dreaming, and the Emerson Review.

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