The English word is gauze—(a finely woven medical cloth), comes from the Arabic word غزة or Ghazza because Gazans have been skilled weavers for centuries

But sometimes I wonder

how many of our wounds
have been dressed
because of them

and how many of theirs
have been left open
because of us?




I walk to Memphis or Portland—
anywhere—but here, inventing
new moves under my dress.

The body language of guilt resonates
where the usable truth sways, spins towards
its brightness, sorrowing.

I step outside to get away
from the cravenness, the shame,
but that was in a dream sweat.

The only thing I fear is walking.
Beneath my shoes lies the foundation
of a transposing continent, above my hijab,

particles of a trillion decaying stars. In actuality,
I myself suspend in devastation.
Eighty-eight pilgrims enter the dark,
and for this moment only, I am the light.



Ilari Pass is a four-time Best of the Net nominee and her Greatest Hits appear or forthcoming in Cutleaf Journal, South Dakota Review, Panoplyzine, SWWIM Every Day, Writer's Digest, Pithead Chapel, Free State Review, Paterson Literary Review, and others. When Ilari isn't writing poetry or short stories, she recites Ayahs (verses) from the Quran and enjoys traveling with her family.