By - Apr 9, 2019

what do people on flashback1 n niko from work have in common
they like to talk about illuminati n all the jews of the world
on flashback they call my grandpa hook nose
n want us to go “back” to israel
claim we own the world n control the media
i open up with niko n he asks if its all true
n i say: if i owned the world, why the fuck would i b here with u?
cos i love to clean do dishes chop food
n listen to u swear
that jews celebrate every time a bulgarian man dies
why would i count the hours with tears in my eyes
just to have the amazing chance
of listening to u talk shit
about how my family owns the world lets b real
why would i secretly live in a sublet
in fear of being evicted if the landlord knows
i would have moved to one of my castles a long time ago
so stupid too easy to laugh n let go
but i dont ever want to forget that everything u say to me means something
i can ask grandma n grandpa they remember how it was before
how it never ends, like last time u know
minute by minute, it grows n grows
their murdered families turning in their graves now
its new year n i barely dare to go out
for yom kippur but im so lucky
cos im blond n blue eyed n dont even look jewish
well “lucky”, like someone said to grandpa in an interview
that he was lucky to b alive
survived his whole family, lucky u
his brother wouldve celebrated rosh hashana with us wouldve been close to 90
but instead grandma n grandpa go abroad for yom kippur
they always go for kol nidre but not this year
n i think about going to göteborg but im flaking
cos im scared n cos i want to b with my family n were celebrating
the new year n we cross our fingers
n wish each other shana tova umetuka
n i bite my tongue cos i dont want to talk
about nazis marching the streets in ten days
n about how i should b there but im staying here
n we see each other again on yom kippur n talk about something else
n i walk around with the magen david i thought id lost
n my classmate stares at me during lunch break
says: cool earring but i get it its sarcasm
i say: i dont have any patience left dont test me
n anyway we like each other u n i dont we
n honestly we should b on the same team
based on what uv told me every day on the tram
about how it was coming here alone from afghanistan
how u miss ur family how u miss ur mammas food
n i wish i had more arms than a menorah
so that i could give u the worlds biggest hug
u dont have to worry about getting to stay
but u have debts from gambling every day
wanted the money to send to ur family i ask
u look at my ear again n smile at me, u
probably wont ever ever need to




money ive got money ive had
thing is money runs out mad fast
my family were pretty well off before the war
but the nazis took everything
everything except the stuff they hid in the table
including the ring i proposed to my fiancee with
n the earring i wear that people love to make comments about
even though its pretty subtle
my brother has a star necklace but he almost never wears it
n mamma has a chai cos nobody knows what that is
she likes to say: if u know u know
chai is a symbol that represents life
a symbol we carry in secret
it doesnt matter how long your arms are
when theyre painting swastikas now at vasa real2 n on the mosque
n throw fire bombs at the synagogue how crazy is that
n i do an aliyah n sing so loud its booming
n when we step out of the synagogue the guards are pointing
up toward nybro street where nmr3 is marching
n i lower my arms
kippah in my hand n the hand is shaking
hand on my heart n the heart is shaking
n i lower my arms


1Flashback is an Internet forum similar to 4chan, known in Sweden for racist and anti-semitic posts.
2Vasa Real is a Stockholm secondary school with a Jewish profile.
3NMR is an active Nordic Nazi organization.


Translated from the Swedish by Kenneth Petterson (with thanks to Johannes Göransson and Henry Song). “Chai” is an excerpt from the poetry collection, The Arms (10-tal, 2018). Photograph: Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR) marching in Stockholm 2016, by Frankie Fouganthin.