over closed newspapers and false words, i realized
that maybe how I saw myself wasn't how you saw me through your small, tunneled eyes.
and through your false assumptions and heart-wrenching judgment i came to know
just how bad it felt to feel different, and to be treated as so.
it wasn't until my people were hurting and I saw you rejoicing that I became scared, because
terror was a crazy thing and your words made us feel it the way that a knife does.
the moments of clarity that would fall between your tragedies worked as semicolons, and i figured
that nothing good really did last forever and maybe you weren't as perfect as pictured.
and when you made your own walls come tumbling down and pointed your fingers at me, I knew
that you just wanted someone to blame and you chose my people, and my beliefs too.
you would never own the hate, or the deaths, or the damage that was done to us,
because guilt was a crazy thing and you wanted us to feel it the way that a guilty man does.
and when you made your people fear without knowing, I noticed in an instant
how easy it was to persuade a confused man looking for answers and guidance.
I kept my eyes open for a change, but deep down I understood
that people's opinions don't disappear, and false hope never did any of us any good.
you caused your people to be hateful and weary and I tried not to fuss,
because truth was a crazy thing and soon you would feel it the way an honest man does.
over open pages and genuine words, I began to realize
that He never placed on us what we couldn't bare, and this fight would only lead us to a Paradise.
so through your hateful words and unwarranted blame I came to know
what a time it was to be a believer, and to be treated as so.
so while cities were burning and lives were ending I did not give up, because
hurt was a crazy thing but it moves us forward the way that time does
Nour Salah is a student the the University of South Carolina. She is majoring in English, with a strong focus on modern poetry.