The Métropolitain

Visa to paradise

By Rouba al-Fattal on October 30, 2008

I stood for inspection at the gates of heaven

‘Passport and visa please’, a full armed angel demanded

He looked at me suspiciously, unconvinced 

By the little amount of blood on my hands


I had nothing to declare but my hate squeezed in my suitcase

And I want nothing, except for my promised spot in paradise

In the long line we started squirming as usual in contempt 

O Creator, you did not tell us we need a visa to heaven


In the security office, I boasted how many 

I have killed in vain in his name

My heart flapped within my shackled spirit

They did not believe me, I had no paper work!!

They needed to extract the truth out of my teeth 

Because heaven bears no innocent men


In the torture room, it was a déjà-vu

All torture rooms have the same cold smell

The sweat of fear mingled with the sent of rage

I screamed I am not innocent, guilty, trust me

With frozen tears cutting like sharp glass my hard face

I yelled, I killed civilians intentionally

I am a murderer, a martyr; please allow my entry


O Master, I swear I have never loved

Never laughed, sang or dreamt of peace

And not once washed my dark soul with poetry

If it is not I who killed your children then who did?

If it is not I who terrorized the birds then who did?

If it is not I who strangled the butterflies then who did?

If it is not I who burned the jasmine fields then who did?


I am neither a communist nor a capitalist, I swear

I am a terrorist…so where is my promised virgin bosoms

In the blue harbor of her eyes I detonated my bomb

In the luscious green of her palm trees, I lit the fire

And in your name O Lord I stopped her joyous moments

The blood of my sea, exceeded the water of your seas

My passion for you exceed my love for her child’s laughter


O God, if heaven is no more a part of my geography

And I am nothing but a tangle of revulsion,

Lacking a valid visa to your light

Where then shall this tired warrior rest at last?