'was nothing like you've seen on the screen.'

'Jenin had no relief,' he says, turning on the stool
away from the keys, pushing his thick hair
from his eyes with long movements. 'Jenin' -
turning back and to play a delicate chord -
'was worse than I'd ever dreamed. Even worse
than the café in Tel Aviv. Jenin. Have you ever been
in streets so close the houses and all the raging
people within lean over you?'

Jenin. He dips with his delicate fingers onto the keys.
'Even the child who came out to me begging a cigarette'
- now the music twinkles like little stars
'was only sent to distract me from the sniper
just behind.

'And everything was mined.
Even the man who seemed mortally wounded.
I wanted to go to him - David held me back -
He blew up before my eyes.'

In the growing dim of the afternoon.
The music meanders from piece to piece.

'I know why we went into Jenin. That rusty nail
in my thigh keeps reminding me of that day in the cafe.
I know why we went into Jenin. I know why
we didn't bomb from the air.' He tries
a trill but it is wooden, disconnected,
and continues without keys.

'We have enough
funerals of our own,
and I've outgrown
the eye for an eye creed
long ago.'
'I have willed
to keep going
but I don't know
we can ever
make music again.'

First published in Bridges, and Ariga