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"Jerusalem" by Moriel Rothman

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Published on May 17, 2012

For more of Moriel's writing and poetry check out http://thelefternwall.com/

Jerusalem
your sidewalks are so soft
they feel like used mattresses
Jerusalem
even the most shmeagoly of your pigeons
is a like metaphor for like peace
Jerusalem
I once plucked a pigeon but that was before
Jonathan Safran Foer turned me vegetarian
Jerusalem
Yehuda Amichai wrote poems about your pigeons
much better than I can
Jerusalem
This morning I wandered your walls
with a lantern and a digital camera
and through the light and the lens
and the tourists pouring into the City of David
I could see Silwan
through a crack in your ancient-war wall
Jerusalem
I think it's weird how men often refer to you
like you are a woman
Jerusalem
You are not a woman
you are a city
Jerusalem
Do you agree that women shouldn't
be referred to like they are cities
to walk on and sleep in
and take by force
Jerusalem
Does the word vagina make you uncomfortable?
Jerusalem
I want to grow an army of kids inside of your moist and dark Biblical caves
Jerusalem
I will send them to a Bilingual preschool
where they will learn both Arabic
and Yiddish
and will grow up causticly optimistic
and infinitely hospitable
Jerusalem
This morning the guard didn't let me in
to visit your Western Wall
because I was wearing a shirt that said
"We are all Al Arakib"
What is Al Arakib? He asked
And I told him it means,
We are all rabbits.
But so and despite my insistence that we are all
relatively harmless lettuce eating mammals
he did not let us pass
Jerusalem
Do you have a permit to build there?
Jerusalem
On your Eastern front it was quiet and
some men saw my shirt and said great!
May God grant you prosperity.
Come and eat with us.
But we said no thank you, because often Palestinians do not eat enough leafy greens for our taste.
Jerusalem
What about the Palestinians?
Jerusalem
There will be a demonstration today at four o'clock
It will begin at the Pigeons gate
and will end in disappointment
Jerusalem
Maybe I should grow a mustache
Jerusalem
I left my yarmulkeh and phylacteries
in Willamsburg laced in the rhythm
of Mr. Ginsbergs kaddish
Jerusalem
What would Maimonedes think
about the light rail?
Jerusalem
Would you fine Our Fine Sages of Blessed Memory
180 shekels if they could not work the ticket machine?
Jerusalem
I'm Sorry. That wasnt fair. I just wanted a line
that would put me squarely in the consensus
Jerusalem
do you get lonely also?
Jerusalem
When will you stop learning and get a job?
When will you put on a uniform like everyone else?
When will you stand at a checkpoint?
Jerusalem
When will succumb to your fanatics?
When will you spit us out?
Jerusalem, maybe if you stop eating for seventy five days then maybe they
will let you out of solitary confinement
and tell your what you're doing here.
Jerusalem
My writing hand has lost it's cunning
Which is mostly OK because
I am a Lefty
Jerusalem
We made the New York Times headlines
Jerusalem
You are probably bored of poems
Jerusalem
You could use an intro to Queer Theory
Jerusalem
I am hungry
Let's have a barbecue
Jerusalem
Let's have pigeon
Jerusalem
Pray for me
Jerusalem
The irony is always lost on you
Jerusalem
You dont really want to go to war do you?
Jerusalem
Put a note in your wall for
Me and for al arakib and for Silwan
And for yourself
Jerusalem
Pray for us
Jerusalem
Pray

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