By Briant Wells
In 1923, Vladimir (Ze’ek) Jabotinsky made it clear how one land would become Israel at the expense of the Palestinians. Before Hitler affected his Final Solution of my ancestors, my ancestors in Israel began affecting their own solution of the Arab Problem:
“Our emigration to Palestine must continue without consideration of the Arab position, in a way that our settling can develop there under the protection of power that is not dependent on the local population, under the shelter of a wall of iron that this population can never break down. this must be our political stance regarding the Arab question.”
I took a shit in the only Chabbad house in Old Jerusalem,
The light in the stall was out—
Typical—all of man’s basest natures
Happen under a sun blotted out
Like my five-year-old self shaking and bruised under my brother’s beatings and shouts.
I used my flashlight to stare at the grimy wall
In front of my eyes.
Hidden from god, I defected on the wall
In front of my eyes.
While I emptied my bowels, it smelled
Of profanity in the holy city.
Again, this is a land of walls—
A barrier between man and nature, man and woman, shit and blood
A land of murderous misunderstanding
Between a child with a rock and soldier with an A.R.
and the raining down of shrapnel into a children’s hospital that used to be standing
through the torsos and memories of children who will grow up angry at the enemy that remains unseen—
behind the wall that remains standing.
Where a flashlight and a shit are all that was needed to illuminate
How a city of the world’s holiest of holies is the land of absurd paradoxes
And where everything happens under the concrete veil
As if god ant look through our flimsy man-made boxes.
After this, I wiped my ass and wailed at the wall
With rabid rabbis and mourning mothers
Segregated. A wall parodying the greater wall.
Like the 6-foot upside-down concrete T’s
That separated neighbors and families and began the “Free Palestine” Tees
In Gilo, lines mark new line of territory
On maps they are black lines, on the land they are bulldozers, tanks, electric fences, and long lines of fallen mothers from heat exhaustion
And for the Marxist emotionless fucks, workers in Palestine can’t make it to the damn factory
On time to produce the humus that my relatives enjoy for breakfast and for dinner;
Or the electronic, smart, computerized children’s adult toy
That are you holding in your pocket or staring at in your hand…
So much “progress” from a contaminated and segregated and difficult land…
Free the People! But whose people? Not YOUR people!
It’s always someone else’s people that are the already free people.
Trump talks of a wall.
It will of course take its lead from our ally in the Land of God’s Children
In the land of Judea, while a girl goes hungry on the other side, perhaps her name is the name of your cousin or your sister or your friend or your lover—Leah.
A wall is a wall is a wall
To make you feel not my brethren.
He wants us to think that geography and separation makes you heathen.
And yet when I dream of paradise—there are no virgins, no saints, no architects, no presidents, no fake tans, no hate, no concrete mixing trucks, not one electrical fence, no walls, no difference—In Heaven,
Please stop telling us that the wall and the separation is the less of two evils,
Like drinking fountains or religions or languages or skin
As if my neighbor is not my neighbor is not your neighbor is not our neighbor.
What is evil?
It is that which makes me and my non-familial brothers and sisters un-level.
Evil blinds me.
From the walls that already exist
In San Ysidro and that our peoples are doing hard 20s for slangin’ some hydro.
Evil unfeels me
From the horrors of my cousins hiding from bombs—behind a frail eucalyptus tree
From the hands of my other cousins unfurling an acid rain in a poisoned Mediterranean Sea
All in the name of Yahweh and protection and insurrection and resurrection and fuck segregation in the name of your safety
Evil is thinking that bad only happens in threes
And missing all the blessings that happen in between
Like when I was a teen—and I didn’t want to be seen—
Like when I was sipping lean and speaking truth through my delusions and drugs stayed stashed
And wanting to die, a rock broke my windshield and my tires slashed
All for acting as the white male shield for Ana and Kayla’s budding love—and their future baby girl born 10 years later.
Like when Alyssa loved me with a needle in my arm when I couldn’t see her love through the cooked-up silver sheen
Like when I give thanks—now
During Shabbat, I praise and bless myself within myself
I praise and bless you for coming out of yourself
So that we can join and become ourselves
And loving me, and loving me
And loving you, and loving you
And going to work with me
To break down walls
Maybe plant a tree
Whose roots will grow a love between you and me
And no walls can separate love between you and me.