Sunday, January 4, 2009
Palestine. If You Were a Bride
Marching in a protest against the occupation of Palestine always, always keeps me wordless. And I am a wordy woman. On normal days. When I forget where I come from.
I think I just found my words. I went to Suheir Hammad. I mixed her voice with my wordless scream. Like a mute thunder. Her words give me voice. Always.
… Because I come from somewhere
I come from some people
Us who put our lives on the line
I don’t want to hurt nobody
How do I tell American Youth that popular culture means nothing to Justice
And everything to keeping them numb to the world
How do I scream
When I have no voice left
Who will answer me
Even I -- it seems -- have developed a callousness to the deaths of Palestinians
There are people who say I am not supposed to go there
To Palestine. I am North American. Stay here.
No passport. No citizenship. No money. No power will keep you alive.
This is not a poem. This is not a treat. This is a promise
I will chant the names of the innocent
I will stand with those who have kept their hands clean of blood
And their hearts clear of hate
It is hard not to hate right now
But I have been loved. I have loved.
She is dead now. Our bride in white. And the ocean will miss her gaze.
Her family will miss her breath.