Poetry

Shalom, Salaam

by
Jabari Jones


Shalom
may the bullets
go on strike
and study war no more

Salaam
may the bombs
fall in love
with the body
and refuse to blow

Shalom
may the agents of Mossad
step into the light of day
and pray to live again

Salaam
may the agents of Hamas
explode
into tears
and run home to their mothers

Shalom
may the bulldozers
break down the walls
that divide

Salaam
may the greeny stumps of olive trees
mark the path of return

Shalom
may the chainsaws
chew on stones

Salaam
may the oil princes
fall into their oil wells
like corks, stopping
the flow of corruption

Salaam
may indignant spit
turn into olive oil

Shalom
may bitter tears
turn into sweet wine

Shalom
may the leaders
go home
and curse each other
over the telephone

Salaam
may the people
meet in the streets
and drink a lot of wine
at each other's parties

Shalom, Salaam
may the last candle
be saved to seal
the last gun muzzle

Shalom, Salaam
may the bloody earth
shut its many
grave mouths in protest,
raising trees like flags

Shalom, Salaam
may it be a young Israeli rabbi
who sings the Kaddish
over the body of the last
Palestinian fighter

Shalom, Salaam
when anyone speaks words in hate,
in the name of the One,
may their voices fail and fall,
like a divided house
 

 Jabari Jones's "Shalom, Salaam" originally appeared in Long Shot literary journal's recently
released "Beat Bush Issue" (www.longshot.org).