Rouda embroiders Christmas scenes,

asks me to bring Santa patterns from America.

Her husband is Muslim; she, Christian.

She directs the local women’s center,

takes time to prepare maamoul date cookies,

roasted meat, salad. She survived prison.

Her husband was there, too. He talks less.

She shares his story: When he told the guards he was sick,

they led him shirtless through snow.

The second time, he said nothing.

Once, someone snuck almonds into his cell.

They were broken out with a fist.

This rose and kunafeh-scented home:

memories cut from albums; stolen frames.

Easter dinnerware sparkles.

Light gleams off the thin-stemmed wine glasses.