By Najwan Darwish Najwan Darwish

Translated By Kareem James Abu-Zeid

My mother is obsessed with reading about Jesus these days.

I see books piled by her bed, most of them borrowed from my library: novels, handbooks, sectarian polemics, writers coming to blows. Sometimes when I’m passing by her room she calls on me to step between them and resolve their disputes. (A little while ago I came to the aid of a historian called Kamal Salibi, whose forehead had been split open by a Catholic stone.)

What a diligent reader she is when she’s searching for Jesus, this woman I never failed to disappoint: I was not martyred in the first intifada, nor in the second, nor in the third. And just between you and me, I won’t be martyred in any future intifada either, nor will 
I be killed by some booby-trapped stork.

As she reads, her orthodox imagination crucifies me with every page.... while I do nothing but supply it with more books and nails.

Source: Poetry (April 2014).


This poem originally appeared in the April 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2014
 Najwan  Darwish


Najwan Darwish was born in Jerusalem in 1978. Since the publication of his first collection in 2000, his poetry has been translated into ten languages. Nothing More to Lose (New York Review Books) will be published this month.

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Poems by Najwan Darwish

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Parenthood, Religion, Christianity, God & the Divine, Social Commentaries, War & Conflict

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

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