my encompassed heart |  billie rain


my heart carries me across continents
north to south and back again
a goddamn ancestral compass
always pointing, pointing north from south.

north i imagine ireland's green and lush life like
what i find so alien here in this northwest, i am cold
longing for the sun's radiance. falling through pages of
atlases what can you tell me of my people?

for three generations we have tried to forget our names,
aurelia, berta, jacques, moses. lost on this genocidal
continent we sever ourselves, mind heart body and soul
finding no price too great for the lies we live.

i imagine egypt warm and bright in my mind's eye,
ancestors cling to me know i am the one to
save us from our own violent demise, know i am
the one to sew us back together whole.

i carve "shame" across my arm religiously because
i cannot bear the weight of these ancestral
centuries memories bridge me back to land
promised which now can never be delivered.

"why did they kill us and take our lands?" asks my
palestinian jew. i cannot answer you ancestor, i
cannot know now or ever how we came to lose ourselves,
north from south, destroying all in our path.

all covenants are broken. my people had waited
for so long unto their deaths for this? forced
entry from the north destroy our homes lands
destroy everything even ourselves in the mirror.

i am climbing the roots of our family
tree one hundred two hundred three hundred
bloody centuries i cannot understand why
jewish corpses poison the soil of our tree.

sliding searching down bloody bark
circling centuries, looking for keys to
what great secrets are found in rotting soil
what keys do they hold for our redemption?

i choke on bile rising gorge in my throat
searching tirelessly digging up roots that span
continents north and south. where are my answers
to these endless questions? who are my people?

what bridge spans continents and centuries?
what stretches my body north from south?
whose names call me from their graves, pleading
"fix this mess. fix this mess."

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