Shalom and Salam

by Ava Lalezarzadeh

Are both Semitic languages 
We share the same roots 

If only peace could be brought on by a prefix 
And the commonalities we share

I pray when the missiles launch
nothing but Kippas and Taqiyahs will land on your head 

And that the olive trees will grow back
And that we’ll all together around the table and 
eat the food that our grandmother’s made us. 

And meet at the park to play backgammon
and dombak.

I am not a scholar.
Or an activist.
I don’t presume to know or be the bearer of truths.
But I’m a lover. A lover of words.
A lover of people.
And if you have a heart 
Which we all do 
We all know the feeling of drums in our chest 
And holding our loved ones tightly.

And how we’d never wish suffering on 

And so to that I say
Ya Salam and Shabbat Shalom