What I Will


By Suheir Hammad

I will not dance to your war drum
I will not lend my soul
Nor my bones to your war drum

I will not dance to your beating
I know that beat
It is lifeless

I know intimately
That skin you are hitting
It was alive once
Hunted
Stolen
Stretched

I will not dance
To your drummed up war
I will not pop, spin, break for you
I will not hate for you
Or even hate you

I will not kill for you
Especially
I will not die for you

I will not mourn the dead with murder
Nor suicide

I will not side with you
Or dance to bombs
Because everyone is dancing
Everyone can be wrong

Life is a right
Not collateral
Or casual

I will not forget where I come from
I will craft my own drum
Gather my beloved
Near and our chanting will be dancing
Our humming will be drumming

I will not be played
I will not lend my name
Nor my rhythm to your beat

I will dance and resist
Dance and persist
And dance

This heartbeat is louder than death
Your war drum
Ain’t louder than this breath

Advertisements