Random Interview in Jerusalem

by Ella Singer, Hamtramck

My name is Salem
They call me peace
I come to this marketplace daily
to help pull out the bodies
of our common dead

My name is Jeru
They call me city
my streets are filled with tanks
crushing bones for bread
to feed the national army

This war is dark
There are no candies lit
no rugs praying nor walls wailing
no crucifixions or referendums
no petitions just muted questions

Smell the burning meat
Human forts can't withstand
the ammunition of words
shooting from the mouths
of desert saints and city sheiks
smiling through nuclear fears

This war asks
What is the meaning of headlines flowing
from the cut of an open wrist
to the photo of a bullet wound
on the six o'clock news
who owns this marketplace?

I am the city of peace
Wringing righteousness
from my enemy's neck
crying in the face of an un-holiness
that spits vengeance every hour
my hands stink of smoke

I cross myself twice and turn
To sounds of soldiers running in new shoes
along this ancient way extinguishing
burning bushes with
the gasoline of blood

This is a war
That defies understanding
it is fought with children
they kill ours
we kill theirs
there is no meat in this market today

–Ella Singer, Hamtramck

Take me back to the Summer Fiction index. E-mail comments to [email protected]

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