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Please don't ask me, America.

I don't remember

on which street,

with whom,

or under which star.

Don't ask me ...

I don't remember

the colors of the people

or their signatures.

I don't remember if they had

our faces

and our dreams,

if they were singing

or not,

writing from the left

or the right

or not writing at all,

sleeping in houses

on sidewalks

or in airports,

making love or not making love.

Please don't ask me, America.

I don't remember their names

or their birthplaces.

People are grass -

they grow everywhere, America.

Don't ask me ...

I don't remember

what time it was,

what the weather was like,

which language,

or which flag.

Don't ask me ...

I don't remember

how long they walked under the sun

or how many died.

I don't remember

the shapes of the boats

or the number of stops ...

How many suitcases they carried

or left behind,

if they came complaining

or without complaint.

Stop your questioning, America,

and offer your hand

to the tired

on the other shore.

America

Elizabeth Winslow, translation from
the Arabic written by Dunya Mikhail

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