I May Be Israeli

Written for Ora Tamir

I weight “I love you” in nine languages. 

My heart has linguistic roads leading to lives … I know. 

Tongue around salt, I’m thirsty for words from a sea not yet created. 

Compassion moves through blood and vein, 

The possibility of ending becomes the next act in beginning.    

Leaves sprout from my spine, as I paint landscapes on my skin. 

An apple grows from my fingertips, just before the sand washes me away. 

I carve the design of mending peace 

With my eyes,

Your eyes,

Our eyes,


And morning dew turns to saltwater. 

Cracking it breaks,

Lips in-a- line, still…

I hear children singing, 

Waiting for the pictures.

A painter. 

An artist. 

A mover of every steadfast mountain.   

If the pictures you paint come from your blood, 

I may be Israeli. 

I stop a sword stare before penetration, 

So persistent is my right to love. 

Vitamins out of bark,

Vitamins out of dry land–

Mind nourishes what’s at hand.

My, your, our hand. 

The strokes are done.

I may be Israeli, because shalom sounds like sugar. 

I may be Israeli because her colors, on canvas, line my inner walls. 

I may be Israeli, because without everyone, we are no one at all.

I may be, I may be, or maybe…

One in the same. 

A race of feelers without a nation’s name. 

Label me you and I’ll do the same.  

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