Khalid Abu Dawas

A Palestinian American from San Diego, California, Khalid Abu Dawas is currently working towards a BA in Global Liberal Studies at New York University. Most recently part of NYU’s 2017 CUPSI slam team, making it to finals and taking the title of co-champion, Khalid’s work investigates the meanings of culture and ethnic identity in diaspora. Additionally, his work often weaves in and out of the intricacies of mental health and masculinity, particularly within an Arab identity.  If he isn’t writing, Khalid is probably taking photos with his cat.



Athan of Occupiers


Muslims rise, like dawn, after prayer

as soldiers storm Al-Aqsa;

Boots trample prayer rugs, and guns snarl at families.

Outside, attack dogs become trajectories, become the sights of a rifle;

Barking, begging to chase a runaway body.



Newspaper: Personals


I am looking to lose home.

Looking for a good destroyer,


good at shattering,

to take up space

on mattress.


  • ••



i am an old acquaintance with touch;


i run broken thermostat

depending on how much you love me.



if you are not burning

or a lost cause.

i am not looking for cooperation.


good fits,

expected infernos of honest affections,

and devotees,

are unproductive.


  • ••


looking for an allegiance

built in burning building

framed in expectations.



looking for chassis to warm soul

that will leave the contents of an apartment glacial.


looking for quivering upper lip,

transparent window blinds

for eyes: essentially


  • •••


looking for a body without a body bag,

eye-open sleeper with all the worry of some world,

a private in need of combat experience.


do not call

if you forgot you were all of the above,

and needed a reminder.





May 11, 2017


Al Keffiyeh is intifada

is a light fabric worn heavy

is black and white                     and the color of orchards

but they are black too for they have been burnt down


Al Keffiyeh is lungs and heart

is breathing wind worthy of an unfurled flag

is names chest pounding                        only because of bombs dropping

is dead friends


Al Keffiyeh is ancestors

is woven with bloodline

is family fabric                         not tree             not grown                     given                sewn

Al Keffiyeh is family tree                     but we cannot build      or plant            here


Al Keffiyeh is bad body armor

but is beautiful hanged


we have always died proudly



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