XXXIX

Etel Adnan

When the living rot on the bodies of the dead

When the combatants’ teeth become knives

When words lose their meaning and become arsenic

When the aggressors’ nails become claws

When old friends hurry to join the carnage

When the victors’ eyes become live shells

When clergymen pick up the hammer and crucify

When officials open the door to the enemy

When the mountain peoples’ feet weigh like elephants

When roses grow only in cemeteries

When they eat the Palestinian’s liver before he’s even dead

When the sun itself has no other purpose than being a shroud

the human tide moves on . .