Sunday, November 30, 2008

Yasser Arafat is no more

I met Yasser Arafat
For the first time in Egypt
His body was on a horse-drawn carriage
As part of a military funeral

I asked him:
Sir: how do you do you?

He kissed me (he was forever kissing people in spite of doctor's orders)
And said, Not too good

One, I'm dead
Two, I am in Cairo and I do not have the time to see the pyramids

Saying so
He readied to play out the final charade
That began in a military hospital in France
Unto his temporary destination inside a cement container in Ramallah

All this

To the greater glee of his hecklers in the Arab League
The F-16s in the Israeli Army
And paid assassinators

Yasser Arafat knew this
Since his days in a windowless room
Inside his muqata in the West Bank
Where he used to lie down on a single camp bed
Watching rarefied species of lizards and rats, scurry around
Here and there

At 11 am
On Friday
Arafat discarded the olive green uniform
Said adieu to me

He wrapped himself in a white shroud

In which he knew he would be buried
And re-buried, forever