I am You

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Two steps: one, two.
‏Look in the mirror:
‏The horror, the horror!
‏The butt of your M-16 on my cheekbone
‏The yellow patch it left
‏The bullet-shaped scar expanding
‏Like a swastika,
‏Snaking across my face,
‏The heartache flowing
‏Out of my eyes dripping
‏Out of my nostrils piercing
‏My ears flooding
‏The place.
‏Like it did to you
‏70 years ago
‏Or so.

***
‏I am just you.
‏I am your past haunting
‏Your present and your future.
‏I strive like you did.
‏I fight like you did.
‏I resist like you resisted
‏And for a moment,
‏I’d take your tenacity
‏As a model,
‏Were you not holding
‏The barrel of the gun
‏Between my bleeding
‏Eyes.

***

One. Two.
‏The very same gun
‏The very same bullet
‏That had killed your Mom
‏ And killed your Dad
‏Is being used,
‏Against me,
‏By you.
***
‏Mark this bullet and mark in your gun.
‏If you sniff it, it has your and my blood.
‏It has my present and your past.
‏It has my present.
‏It has your future.
‏That’s why we are twins,
‏Same life track
‏Same weapon
‏Same suffering
‏Same facial expressions drawn
‏On the face of the killer,
‏Same everything
‏Except that in your case
‏The victim has evolved, backward,
‏Into a victimizer.
‏I tell you.
‏I am you.
‏Except that I am not the you of now.

***
‏I do not hate you.
‏I want to help you stop hating
‏And killing me.
‏I tell you:
‏The noise of your machine gun
‏Renders you deaf
‏The smell of the powder
‏Beats that of my blood.
‏The sparks disfigure
‏My facial expressions.
‏Would you stop shooting?
‏For a moment?
‏Would you?

***
‏All you have to do
‏Is close your eyes
‏(Seeing these days
‏Blinds our hearts.)
‏Close your eyes, tightly
‏So that you can see
‏In your mind’s eye.
‏Then look into the mirror.
‏One. Two.
‏I am you.
‏I am your past.
‏And killing me,
‏You kill you.

9 thoughts on “I am You

  1. Hello I’m a student journalist writing about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I might want to mention this poem in an article. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions about it? If so, email me back saying yes, and I’ll want to know why you blog and write poetry. My email’s timworden@csu.fullerton.edu

  2. Hi Tim, I do not mind you quoting the poem above or any of the texts here. write the questions here and i will do my best to answer you as soon as possible.
    thanks and good luck

  3. “‏I resist like you resisted”
    The Jews did not resist that much during WWII, except in the Warsaw ghetto. And, the zionists collaborated with the nazis.
    However, the Palestinians have been strongly and courageously resisting the occupation of Palestine.

  4. Pingback: I am You | maryamzaghloul

  5. Pingback: Spanish translation of my poem “I Am You”, “Soy vos” | In Gaza, My Gaza!

  6. Would be nice if it had any kind of truth in it…but that’s not the case.
    The truth is the Israel is dealing with endless attacks of Palestinian terrorists , daily.
    The truth is the good people of the Arab Palestinian population are stuck between the IDF and the terrorists.
    I wish it was not the case but it is.
    You guys should open your minds a bit, read other sources of news. Read sources which contradicts what you read on your press.
    Saying Jews are murderers , Jews are rapists , IDF are Nazis etc…That’s all lies. What I’m afraid is that a lie which is told too many times becomes a “truth”. At least for people who just learn about the conflict from a far.

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