It is 3am in Jerusalem
my first night fully shaken 
awake by the notion 
that there is a war down the street.

Sleep seems like a luxury
I am too poor to keep…

Listening for those silent sirens that don’t stop ringing
those explosions that don’t stop exploding
Known in bone and 6th sense of sleeplessness…

Listening like you listen when there is a robber in the house
Listening like you listen when the world is a furnace
And you are a forest
And fire is a trauma
Of ungodly proportions…

Listening in a way I never learned to listen
in Memphis Tennessee, in Berkeley, in the Ivy Leagues.
Listening like an Israeli…

I have new ears now
And old wisdom
And wet eyes
…and children

Yes, that is how I listen now
sleepless as a woman
– in Israel
– with children…