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poetry No search, no rescue

The Palestine poet Jehan Bseiso depicts the desperation of refugees, pushed from home by war--"barrel bombs and Kalashnikovs"--and lured toward a dubious safety by "a little bit of hope."

No search, no rescue

By Jehan Bseiso

How do we overcome war and poverty only to drown in your sea?

Misrata, Libya
Habeebi just take the boat.
In front of you : Bahr.
Behind you : Harb.
And the border, closed.
Your Sea, Mare,Bahr. Our war, our Harb.

Augusta, Italy
Where is the interpreter?
This is my family.
Baba, mama, baby all washed up on the shore. This is 28 shoeless survivors and thousands of bodies.
Bodies Syrian, Bodies Somali, Bodies Afghan, Bodies Ethiopian, Bodies Eritrean.
Bodies Palestinian.
Your Sea, Mare,Bahr. Our war, our Harb.

Alexandria, Egypt
Habeebi, just take the boat.
Behind you Aleppo and Asmara, barrel bombs and Kalashnikovs.
In front of you a little bit of hope.
Your Sea, Mare,Bahr. Our war, our Harb.

Maps on our backs.
Long way from home.

Jehan Bseiso is a Palestinian poet, researcher and aid-worker currently based in Cairo. Twitter: @jehanbseiso. Contact her at: Jehan.bseiso AT gmail DOT com.

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