Abbas Al-Aboudi: Old man and the sea
no one leaves home unlesshome is the mouth of a sharkyou only run for the borderwhen you see the whole city running as well
your neighbors running faster than youbreath bloody in their throatsthe boy you went to school withwho kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factoryis holding a gun bigger than his bodyyou only leave homewhen home won?t let you stay.
no one leaves home unless home chases youfire under feethot blood in your bellyit?s not something you ever thought of doinguntil the blade burnt threats intoyour neckand even then you carried the anthem underyour breathonly tearing up your passport in an airport toiletsobbing as each mouthful of papermade it clear that you wouldn?t be going back.
you have to understand,that no one puts their children in a boatunless the water is safer than the landno one burns their palmsunder trainsbeneath carriagesno one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truckfeeding on newspaper unless the miles travelledmeans something more than journey.no one crawls under fencesno one wants to be beatenpitied
no one chooses refugee campsor strip searches where yourbody is left achingor prison,because prison is saferthan a city of fireand one prison guardin the nightis better than a truckloadof men who look like your fatherno one could take itno one could stomach itno one skin would be tough enough
thego home blacksrefugeesdirty immigrantsasylum seekerssucking our country dryniggers with their hands outthey smell strangesavagemessed up their country and now they wantto mess ours uphow do the wordsthe dirty looksroll off your backsmaybe because the blow is softerthan a limb torn off
or the words are more tenderthan fourteen men betweenyour legsor the insults are easierto swallowthan rubblethan bonethan your child?s bodyin pieces.i want to go home,but home is the mouth of a sharkhome is the barrel of the gunand no one would leave homeunless home chased you to the shoreunless home told youto quicken your legsleave your clothes behindcrawl through the desertwade through the oceansdrownsavebe hungerbegforget prideyour survival is more important
no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your earsaying ? leave,run away from me nowi dont know what i?ve becomebut i know that anywhereis safer than here