8 December 2020


لا أرض فوق الأرض تحملني

No land on this earth carries me

فيحملني كلامي

So my speech carries me

Mahmoud Darwish   


I do not speak of olive trees and the smell of gunpowder.


My exile is one of peace,

the crash of the Arabian sea. The crescendo of the adhan,

the steam of a stone oven. A mother’s soothing hum,

a father’s provision. 


My exile is one of exclusion,

the unfamiliar turn of a dialect. 

An airport returned to,

a line for foreigners.


My exile is one of choice,

a clipping of a job advertisement,

the promise of a home.


My exile is a poem, 

a land of its own.

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