Oh you, who remember Jerusalem too well,

Wash sacred rock with your tears.

Whether exile has chosen you or not,

Do not sing of her to one who has seen

A stone is no more than it is.


Oh you, who yearn for Yerevan,

Dream empires dead on Byzantine spears,

Do not weep your anguished music

For I have shut my ears.


Oh you who lament for Valparaiso,

Beat breasts and break hearts,

I have lost patience with your fears.


Why stand bowed beneath the footfalls of history,

Dwell in Fata Morganas on treacherous sand?

This is Exile. Fine, embrace her.

Build your damned cities here, where you stand.


If you forget Jerusalem or Yerevan,

It is to build new Valparaisos, frail, green.

Omnivorous hordes threaten from the north, (always from the north.)

My body is a small, caked lime brick in the crooked dam built against the deluge.


We bear all the Diasporas

Bound in bloody pasts

Linked in irremediable loss.

Exile is forever, Elsewhere become so vast.

Anna Fuerstenberg was born in a refugee camp outside Stuttgart Germany. She came to Montreal as a child and won a scholarship to The Montreal Repertory Theatre School. It changed her life. Her plays have been published by Playwrights Canada Press. She has written feature films and short stories and poetry, which have appeared in Parchment and Montreal Serai. She has reviewed books for the Montreal Gazette and theatre for Roverarts. She will perform her play, The Guerilla Caregiver in Nashville next October