When

Piano

Poem

 

She asked, “Can’t we ride a bus anymore?”
No, we cannot speak in our tongue or they’ll carve it out
of our disgusting Hebrew speaking mouths. Before
we could go to Paris, now, we can’t even go to work
in the ruins of what we built with our bare blood. We can’t
wear two triangles in certain formations, don’t tell
a soul about our David, who we once thought
slayed Goliath, but clearly, has been reincarnated
into beards and brainwaves programmed to spill
our dirty guts down a 710 #40 Tel Aviv bus.
I say, “let’s lock the doors, stand by the glimmer of light
slipping thru the window that must be shining down from
our God.” Where’s our sun gone? Our festival? Now it’s
miraculous if there’s eight days without one of us six feet under.
Now they’re not settling only for our first-born.
Goliath won’t be quenched until he drains all of our kin.
Our mere soles hitting concrete is a sin. We are cockroaches
infesting their walls, they came to fumigate. We are the polyp
in their throats, not clearing away. We are in our homeland looking
over our yellow starred shoulders. Hiding dangerous symbols
we can’t wear like medallions anymore. Possess a pendant
they’ll park shells in your ribs like they did your relatives
by the thousands. We can’t breathe their air. We’re taking
nature’s elements that belong to them. I can’t imagine their God
resides in heaven. She asked, “What will we do when they come for us?”
And I said, “What do you mean ‘when’?”

 

more by JULIA GARI WEISS

hotograph by Andree Brown

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