I too drank in the beauty of the lovers’ hills,
Wandered, wondered, amid red-shingled roofs,
I too beheld the sun-soaked stone –
the city wrapped in the tongue of history.
I had thought that the breaths I took went further than my mouth,
The food I ate, not just to my stomach but to my soul.
The steps I took, further, deeper, into myself,
And not just down the road.
But how can I claim this connection in the face of your anger?
When all I have done is listened to them say
“You love Israel”, as they patted me on the shoulder,
Their medicine to soothe a young person’s tender mind.
A medicine that turns to poison when exposed to truth.
A poison that pulses through the veins of young men like myself,
Young men with faces paralysed with the venom,
The ones that hurt you.
With my back to the truth I cheer it on – oh the injustice!
But I cringe and retch when my face is pressed against its armpit.
Or are yours the pits of all your people?
While your cracked hands claim this soil
I claim only the lessons of its memories,
I could never become this place
As you have attempted to become it
I wish you would share your baba ganouj with me,
But only for a little while.