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224 THERESA MALPHRUS WELFORD Fatima It’s terrible to be a woman in this world. A woman’s reputation is her soul. It’s her heart and gizzard. You let them rape and murder you before you let them do anything to your reputation. Am I believing my ears? What do you know about anything? What are you saying about my country, my heart and soul? I am sixteen. I am returned to die again, again, again. The Israelis come for me. A foolish girl. I was left in a room somewhere, and I waited. Such waiting is worse than a beating. Worse than death. I’ve been waiting to go out. I am waiting. After four days alone with misery, I am let go of their prison, I am left even by enemies. And they let me live. 225 What of my parents’ shame, driven off the good land and sacred home the father’s fathers built? When we were homeless and dying without food, what of the four starving babies I had to bury still alive, living? I, I, I? Ten months, ten years, ten centuries! What of my losses? My punishment, at the hands of God, for all the food those babies would eaten. Can I buy a bar of American soap and wash these away? You have to make children see. This the first time I say it out loud. I think, maybe if I don’t say it, maybe, does it go away. But it don’t. It comes, it comes, it comes. I knew it! I knew it! Here there no escape! Don’t do this to me. Listen to that! Do you hear? ...


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MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
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