Skip to Content

A Question of Friendship

By Yvette Neisser Moreno

Something tender about skin
and muscle framed by ancient stone.

The pyramids behind us in silhouette,
solid, rooted, entirely diagonal.

The night deepened,
the city's glimmer distant.

Fadi drew on his smoke.
Do you support Israel?

I took a deep breath,
listened to the desert hum,

felt the weight of silence.
Would the night weave my love

for Israel and Palestine
into some kind of logic?

I hoped the truth would be enough.
Yes, and the Palestinian cause.

Time stopped ticking
as I waited for an answer:

his half-smoked cigarette
flung from mouth to sand,

that flick of the wrist,
straightening of the elbow,

and the glint of that tiny fire
shimmering against the darkness.

Alright, he said.

We walked on into the long night,
wending down an unmarked path.

Added: Monday, July 7, 2014  /  From "Grip" (Gival Press, 2012). First published in Foreign Policy in Focus. Used with permission.
Yvette Neisser Moreno

Yvette Neisser Moreno is a poet and translator whose work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including The International Poetry Review, Palestine-Israel Journal, The Potomac Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review. She has translated two books of poetry from Spanish—most recently South Pole / Polo Sur by María Teresa Ogliastri (co-translated with Patricia Fisher), which is forthcoming from Settlement House—and is currently seeking a publisher for her first book of original poetry, Grip. She works as a freelance writer/editor specializing in international affairs and social justice, and teaches writing at the University of Maryland University College, The Writer’s Center, and Brookside Gardens. She will be a featured poet in the Spring issue of Beltway Poetry Quarterly.

Other poems by this author