After Exile (Rafi Aaron)

And so we returned to the promise that was never given,
returned with our hands in shackles and our pockets filled
with poems.
We sifted through the language of hunger devouring the
words, bread, and cabbage, shuffling our feet in long lines
and around clerks who remained motionless.
Wherever we walked we searched for a grave: as someone
said, “You entered the desert searching for sand.”
Then the silence came and we were invalids unable to
move in the world. The hours wasted away.We waited for a
knock on the door, for my heart to stop or insanity to
sully my verse.
Every night we heard the pounding of nails. They were
building our future. And like all condemned people we
witnessed the construction of our death.

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