White Phosphorus

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Gaza, 2008-2009
Today I shot all the fish in the barrel
dead then strafed an entire
cemetery targeting each unearthed
body bit bigger than ten
centimeters zeroing in on my cold-
seeking drone.

Little bullets shuttled the mineral
rubble back & forth in slime.
I am exquisite
in timing, I’m history’s texts attuned
by lute to the blood thrumming
my ear, the ear alive.

I am King Shit
the sublime. I hear the homing
hum brimming from all Zion’s fine
motor coordination in orchestra;
in goggles’ green night
vision diaspora rides aurora.

Martha Zweig lives in Hardwick. The poem is to remind people that Israel has been doing this to Palestinians over and over for years, decades. “mowing the lawn.” It is based on a news article online at the time about how the assault targeted a cemetery so as to bring bodies and parts up to the surface so as to violate Islamic burial requirements. The pilots specifically cited the “ten centimeters” provision. The poem appeared first in The North American Review, and subsequently in 99 Poems for the 99% (Dean Rader, online); also in her full-length collection “GET LOST”, DHP, Oregon, 2020.

Martha Zweig

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