Demolition Order

Annie Kantar

Al Walaja

a perhaps Hand (which comes 

out of nowhere), arranging
                        her young face, 

a window into which people look 
(but don’t see

arranging changing placing

                                                a paper in her hand
a strange
thing Can you (and a known thing) 

                          read this here and
changing everything carefully

she can’t believe. It’s

a Hand in a window

(she herself can read 
the writing

carefully to and fro moving 
Old things

                                        on the wall) while

stare, with no reprieve through
                            freshly cut windows

moving a perhaps
fraction of a flower here,

              the bulldozer dropping
tiles, fixtures

                                         in a pile of crushed

              cement and jasmine (an 
of air),

room after perhaps 

                                         while my friend

whose home is 
again, who throws

                                         her head back when she laughs,

                                                    whose daughters are watching her, 

sets the long plastic table for dinner without
                                                                 breaking anything.



Note: Al Walaja is a Palestinian village located between Jerusalem and Bethlehem; many of its homes have been demolished or are under threat of demolition.