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JERUSALEM (poem) - Najwan Darwish - Palestine - Poetry International
 
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JERUSALEM
When I leave you I turn to stone
and when I come back I turn to stone

I name you Medusa
I name you the older sister of Sodom and Gomorrah
you the baptismal basin that burned Rome

The murdered hum their poems on the hills
and the rebels reproach the tellers of their stories
while I leave the sea behind and come back
to you, come back
by this small river that flows in your despair

I hear the reciters of the Quran and the shrouders of corpses
I hear the dust of the condolers
I am not yet thirty, but you buried me, time and again
and each time, for your sake
I emerge from the earth
So let those who sing your praises go to hell
those who sell souvenirs of your pain
all those who are standing with me, now, in the picture

I name you Medusa
I name you the older sister of Sodom and Gomorrah
you the baptismal basin that still burns

When I leave you I turn to stone
When I come back I turn to stone