Mahmoud Darwish

13 March 1941 – 9 August 2008 / Palestinian

Psalm Two

a country you carry in your pocket
airport to airport, a country
that exists for you in a remembered
fragrance, an expired stamp, now the seal
of blood embossed upon someone's
sunstruck pavement. Who owns
this property? Who owns the right
to no way out but a busted window
a hundred flights up? Who owns the key
to Heaven's Gate? Did it open?
I open the newspaper, my computer,
an account, and need to account for all
the terror in the world, in crossing
the street with my child this morning,
our Indian heads and Palestinian shrouds.
With what do we pay? For what
attention? I want to draw its shape
"scattered in files and surprises....
flying on shrapnel and bird's wings....
trapped between the dagger and the wind.
I want to draw your shape
to find my shape in yours...."
And what
if the source of death
is not the dagger
or the lie?
But both. Buried deep
in the human rubble.
Closer to God
than thee.
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