-for Basman, Gaza
If I run from them,
they will not see me breathing.
If I yell at them,
they will not hear me breathing.
If I throw rocks at them,
they will try to stop my breathing.
They pretend I don’t exist, or they say,
“You, fanatic! You, standing there
by the Ministry of Health! You, terrorist!
Who do you think you are, Arab,
just standing there and breathing?
Why don’t you do something worthwhile?”
They speed by, fearful of dying,
grasping their aching chests,
clutching at their angry hearts,
tearing at their hair and gasping
for air after shouting at me.
Through the din of their helicopters
and jets and tank engines revving,
I wonder if any of them says to himself,
“See that man just breathing over there?
I think he is the only one here
who knows what he is doing.”
I am trying to teach them how to breathe
by breathing. How else does one
teach the world to breathe?