Letter from the Camp
  Isaac Wurmann

A list of reasons to let you stay.

Sweaty thumb prints
on family photos,
a university degree,
and a strand of hair.

The smallest grains
of Syrian sand,

and that sour hospital smell
when the manila envelope
spits out broken bones;
an x-ray of shrapnel
in your son’s skull.

In the office,
florescent lights illuminate
spires of grey
cabinets,
bloated files,
dust bunnies
trapped between the pages.

A tomb to bureaucracy;
quick wrists flick
to sign bright eyes to secrecy,
so that these stories will die
next to paper people
from Palestine or the DRC.

My soft hands
are prone to paper cuts;
a sad excuse
not to hear their voices
echo bullets and bombs
in this empty room.

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