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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
Courtesy of author.

Yvette Neisser is the author of Grip, winner of the 2011 Gival Press Poetry Award (2012). Her translations from Spanish include South Pole/Polo Sur by María Teresa Ogliastri and Difficult Beauty: Selected Poems by Luis Alberto Ambroggio. Her poems, translations, essays, and reviews have appeared in such publications as Foreign Policy in Focus, Virginia Quarterly Review, and the Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry. She is a founding Board Member of the DC-Area Literary Translators Network (DC-ALT) and has taught writing at George Washington University and The Writer's Center.

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