Your walls fold gently,
embracing the dreaming city.
Your air drifts with the odor of incense,
women’s voices floating upwards,
a twist of prayer toward heaven’s ear.
I hold your name beneath my tongue
like a seed
slipped into the mouth for safekeeping.
Jerusalem, fold me like a handkerchief
into your bosom. I am
one word in a lover’s letter,
a chip of blue tile in your sky.
Even those who have never seen you
walk your streets at night.
We wipe your dust from our feet
each morning, rise from our beds wearied
by the long distances
we have traveled to reach you.
See how we save even the broken bits of pottery,
fitting fragments together
along jagged lines to remember you.
Jerusalem, we are fledglings
crying for a nest!
Source: Handal, N. (2001). The Poetry of Arab Women: A Contemporary Anthology. Northhampton, Massachusetts: INTERLINK BOOKS.pp.171-172