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Eradicating Wrinkles: Stolen Beauty, Stolen Land

“Ageless Skin”
the full-color ad ink is still moist:

Dead Sea complexion cream
erases wrinkles

smoothes out image and misperception,
intercepts inconvenient

fine facial lines on a sky-high wall

and tries to convince you
there’s nothing left to deny.

Ahava company (in Hebrew, love)
says their (sic: the)
Dead Sea’s life-enhancing ingredients thrive
with ancient properties

regenerative properties,

that produce the greatest abundance of moisture-
retaining minerals on earth.

Riches from stolen
mud sold for slathering.

Looks like crud
that clogs the shower drain,
globs the spaces
between your toes

looks like the patted wad
the potter centers on her wheel and spins
into an urn.

In dreams the West Bank woman
walks her Dead Sea shore

in dreams like her mother
like her aunts
she sieves crystals from buckets of salt water

wipes mud off her lips, mud off her cheeks,
nose, callouses and hammer toes

washes its bite
from her baby’s bottom,
its bitter
from her toddler’s ears.

In dreams she floats a meridian long
like a magnet for brine.

At night her stars are quiet, just stars.

Before back-in-the-day you had what you had.

Greed fit in a day-old fist.

Water was water: drink, quench, groves and fields.

You heaved boulders, piled rocks,
borrowed land from land and reshaped a stream.

You stole nothing.

The little you owned
was far more than a single share.


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