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December 7, 2013

“Poem Postmarked for the Middle East.” {Video}

This poem was written by Usman Hameedi.

Hameedi is from Brooklyn, New York. His parents immigrated from Pakistan.

As witnessed from the above poem, “Poem Postmarked for the Middle East,” Hameedi is an awe-inspiring poet. His words quite literally took my breath away, especially the lines:

In Conflict, Dialogue is survival.
It is necessity, despite its difficulty.”

And,

“Still, we knew an angry fist
is just wilted fingers, flowers fallen in drought
Our hands were open invitations
Kisses silenced rockets”

 

Here’s the entire poem, courtesy of Upworthy:

 

Poem Postmarked for the Middle East

We were two-state solution complex.
She, Star of David necklace
Me, Keffiyeh around neck.
But some things were simple:
when I glanced from across the room
Faith smiled, radiance of Mecca.

Adonai and Allah ask our people for Friday prayer
so I attended Shabbat services and
Faith was the only Jewish woman at Jummah.

Forbidden Commandments.
While Abraham’s children fought bloody,
we parted red seas,
exodus to smooth lands of milk and honey.
Our Bodies intertwined like messages in Torah and Quran.
Beneath the starry splatter paint masterpiece of God,
I held her answered prayers thankful.

Our moaning drowned out the war cries,
harsh Hebrew and Arabic
Our orgasms were our resistance
When your lover is the target
political terms have their face,
bullets aimed at their skull.

In Conflict, Dialogue is survival.
It is necessity, despite its difficulty.
Yes, we poached the elephant in the room.
Words like sharp ivory tusk:
Zionist. Apartheid. Hamas. Hitler.
These conversations
were jagged rocks thrown at tanks.
Learning is an ugly experience.
Faith pissed me the fuck off
I tried her patience.

Still, we knew an angry fist
is just wilted fingers, flowers fallen in drought
Our hands were open invitations
Kisses silenced rockets
Muted those that told us
Our Holy Books cannot coexist.
I am Terrorist and Faith is Occupier.

With peace treaties on our tongues,
we exhaled new scriptures into the walls of Mosques and Synagogues
hoping to purge asbestos animosity.
We knew it was temporary.
I forgot the expiration date.
Before leaving, she said:
“Habibi, please share our story.”
Dead Sea trickled from her emerald eyes
And I mourned, sat shiva for months

chaim shali
neshema sheli
I wanted to reconstruct my collarbone into Jerusalem
so you could breathe prayer onto the Western Walls of my chest.

Even from Israel,
I hear Assalamualaikum
spoken in your accent, carried on wind whisper.
I respond, press my hands into The Atlantic, Shalom,
my rippling affection crossing continents.

Will I ever see you again?
If I do, I will be an atheist
rediscovering his former religion.
Baruch Ata Adonai
Bismillah Ir Rahman Rahim
I’ll hold you like prayer beads
humbled by the beauty of Faith.

 

 

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Editor: Bryonie Wise

{Photo: flickr}

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