Always, I Open My Heart

In honor of Green March Day, we present this work by one of today’s most famous Moroccan poets.

Abdallah Zrika
b. 1953


I speak, first, from my fingernails, taken from the ocean’s sand, then from the algae of my hair in indigent atmospheres, then from my eyes, from the aluminum

of the sky
And I invite you all now
And my hand is firewood
I was born in an age of revolution
poor, poor, poor
up to the ankles of my feet
I was born barefoot
and sick
and hungry
and angry
until the ocean’s foam was in my mouth
and in my mouth was iron and rock
and words in mourning
and hungry children
and small dogs killed by the cold and rain
and fear
and people with torn clothes, bare feet
and in my hand, teeth of crystal
and anger
and the crying of children
and the ill
and blame
and here I am, angry
I blame the murdered
and I open my heart
I blame those who deserve blame
For the wound in us is deep
the betrayal deep
the murdered among us are hurting.

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