Poems / February 19, 2024


Fady Joudah

Ceasefire now. Before Thanksgiving?
By Christmas or the New Year?

On MLK day or Easter? Forever?
Before old tricks find themselves out,

and genocide is seen through, this year or the next
decade, and scholars sign off on it.

Repetition won’t guarantee wisdom,
but ceasefire now
before your wisdom is an echo.

We need to differentiate
between the dead and the not-here.

We require you to restore your mind
to your heart, its earliest version,

before the world touched it.
After the massacre

who will emerge innocent?
And I, a serf riot
in maximum-security prison

online or behind fences.
Cease now. Sure, you will

have to grant more rights
and cede new ground. Sure,

revolution shall not last.
Shall not end.

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Fady Joudah

Fady Joudah is a Palestinian American physician, poet, and translator. His most recent poetry collection is […] from Milkweed Editions.

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