In the last days of our journey together my mother and I went to the Dead Sea; so different on this side than the other. Under a relentless and unforgiving sun we climbed to the top of Herod’s Fortress; now only rubble, a palace with no king. When we came down we spent the afternoon by the sea, lying more in the shade than the sun. Above us, American and Israeli fighter jets, heard before they were seen, soared toward Syria. Superstitious, I shielded my eyes and held my breath as they passed overhead; the way I used to when we drove past cemeteries when I was young. War. Death. Are they not the same?
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