from America, America

God save America,
               My home, sweet home!

We are not hostages, America,
and your soldiers are not God's soldiers...
We are the poor ones, ours is the earth of the drowned gods,
the gods of bulls,
the gods of fires,
the gods of sorrows that intertwine clay and blood in a song...
We are the poor, ours is the god of the poor,
who emerges out of farmers' ribs,
and bright,
and raises heads up high...

America, we are the dead.
Let your soldiers come.
Whoever kills a man, let him resurrect him.
We are the drowned ones, dear lady.
We are the drowned.
Let the water come.

       Damascus, 20/8/1995
"America, America" © 2002 Saadi Youssef. Reprinted from Without an Alphabet, Without a Face, with permission of Graywolf Press, Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Source: Without an Alphabet Without a Face (Graywolf Press, 2002)
More Poems by Saadi Youssef