They call us now.
Before they drop the bombs.
The phone rings
and someone who knows my first name
calls and says in perfect Arabic
“This is David.”
And in my stupor of sonic booms and glass shattering symphonies
still smashing around in my head
I think “Do I know any Davids in Gaza?”
They call us now to say
You have 58 seconds from the end of this message.
Your house is next.
They think of it as some kind of war time courtesy.
It doesn’t matter that
there is nowhere to run to.
It means nothing that the borders are closed
and your papers are worthless
and mark you only for a life sentence
in this prison by the sea
and the alleyways are narrow
and there are more human lives
packed one against the other
more than any other place on earth
We aren’t trying to kill you.
It doesn’t matter that
you can’t call us back to tell us
the people we claim to want aren’t in your house
that there’s no one here
except you and your children
who were cheering for Argentina
sharing the last loaf of bread for this week
counting candles left in case the power goes out.
It doesn’t matter that you have children.
You live in the wrong place
and now is your chance to run
It doesn’t matter
that 58 seconds isn’t long enough
to find your wedding album
or your son’s favorite blanket
or your daughter’s almost completed college application
or your shoes
or to gather everyone in the house.
It doesn’t matter what you had planned.
It doesn’t matter who you are
Prove you’re human.
Prove you stand on two legs.
Running Orders by Lena Khalaf Tuffaha
If I read a dystopian and/or SF book about people who are telephoned and informed to leave their homes before they are destroyed, but who have no place to go, no way of leaving the place they are, i would not believe it because it would be too cartoonishly evil.
Imagine getting that call. The call that proves that the “only democracy in the Middle East” the one “constantly under threat” from its enemies is intentionally targeting civilian residences for long range bombing — long range being important because it means that despite the constant allegation that Hamas “hides amongst the people” and puts weapons in civilian homes, no searches are being made. No one knows from miles away in Tel Aviv who or what is in a home. But still the call. Then the bomb. Filled with fletchettes or maybe white phosphorus or maybe just explosive fire destroying another home, another family, another future.
Oh my goodness, the thundering bullheaded naivete, the “grown adult” finger-wagging, the utterly unearned assumption of an authoritative stance on any random fucking aspect of someone else’s life based mostly on well I’ve never seen it happen so these people are probably lying or just not understanding what they’re seeing.