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Palestine Woman

When you love a Palestinian woman,
the essence of resistance seeps into
your existence;
you comprehend
the meaning of persistence.

In her eyes you may see
residue of a tear,
but never
a sign of fear.

When you love a Palestinian woman,
your heart is tuned
to the beat of a heart
that can never forget.
You travel far;
you walk the narrow streets of Jerusalem,
in the footsteps of Jesus,
carrying his cross; cleaning his wounds;
wiping his sweat.

When you love a Palestinian woman
you love every wave
that kisses the shores of her land,
every olive tree in Galilee,
every particle of salt
in the Dead Sea.

When you love a Palestinian woman,
you love a smile
mysteriously mixed with pain unknown
to others,
and a laugh that was choked
when the land was separated from its
faithful lovers.

When you love a Palestinian woman
you love a spirit
that inherited the will to stand,
and eyes
that terrify guards at check-points,
in a way no man can.

How can any man love
but a Palestinian woman?

How Sad . . .

I’d like to tell you where I stand
but my only reference is
how far away from you,
Isn’t that sad?

I want to tell you how I feel
I want you to understand
but what I want and how I feel
aren’t compatible . . .
Isn’t that mad?

Do you ever long,
for that terrifying longing?
Do you miss that passionate fear
of wanting to touch my hand?
I do . . .
Do you find that sad?
The world turns,

The world burns
It shatters and falls to pieces . . .
and I still have ears
for your heart
I still can hear the echo
of that one distant beat,
fading little by little
in the crowd of “matters that matter”
Isn’t that so very sad?
How It Scares Me
How it scares me
to think
that if I called
you might not answer

How it scares me

How it scares me
to think
that in the middle of the night
I won’t hear your voice
when I want to

How tough this night is
I hear it ticking away
second by second
it occurs to me
to take a pill
to make me sleep tonight

How it scares meto think
I might not find you
on the other side
of the phone
if I called

How I feel
that I must find you there
on the other side
of the phone

You would answer
and I would talk
and talk
my love
so I can sleep tonight

How I try to hide
this love
to make it last

How it scares me
to think
you might be sitting
here
then suddenly
stand up
and walk away
there

I take a picture
of myself
alone
it’s not a good one
dark and distant and hazy

And inside me
your voice echoes
even though I can’t understand
the words

How I wish
your house wasn’t that far
and that the gate
beneath your house
wasn’t made of iron bars
I would have come up
in a second
and talked to you
and talked
my love
so I can sleep tonight

 

—poems by Nicole Aviva

 

Poetry Submission Guidelines

In order to submit your work for consideration, please send one to four poems to Metroland, 4 Central Ave., Albany, N.Y. 12210, attn. Poetry in the Paper. Please send each poem on a separate page, and please be sure to put your name, address and phone number on each page. Due to the large amount of poetry we have been receiving, we will not be able to return your poetry submissions, so please send copies—no originals! Poetry selected for publication will appear in the print version of Metroland and on the Web at www.metroland.net for the duration of one issue (one week). Poets whose work has been published will receive a $25 gift certificate to a local bookstore.

Please do not send more than four poems. If you would like to make multiple submissions, you may do so, but please do not send all of your work at once.

Unfortunately, we will not be able to contact each and every poet who has submitted his or her work to Metroland. We would like to, but we’ve received a large number of submissions, and it would be virtually impossible to reply to you all. We apologize for any inconvenience. If you have any further questions, you may contact John Rodat at 463-2500, ext. 148.


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