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.
I am looking to lose home.
Looking for a good destroyer,
good at shattering,
to take up space
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.
expected infernos of honest affections,
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