Define Me

July 21, 2020

By Netanel Arussy 

Which am I,
Assailant or assailed?

My ear hears a bell
That I was unaware of,
My body takes the hits
That I do not wish to return.
Each blow like a hurricane
That I must weather,
Still, my breath,
Like bullets piercing hearts,
Induces echoed screams,
Blood curdling yells,
Glass breaking screeches,
In horror of my atrocities.

I never asked to fight this match,
I never asked to play this sport.
I play a game with changing rules,
Where each round has new players,
And each match takes a lifetime.
No winner or loser,
Only attacker and attacked.

So which am I then?
Assailant or assailed?
Though I will not don the mask of aggressor,
I cannot survive this as a victim.

Netanel Arussy’s poem was a winner of the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement’s Emma Lazarus Art Award.