(a work in progress)
if either if either of the parties if any goods if the commander of a ship of war if either of the parties if either if any gun if any moor if any vessel if any vessel of the united states if any american vessel if any vessel of either of the parties if we if any ship of war if a ship of war
if there shall
merchants shall all goods shall no examination shall unless it shall goods on board shall no other person whatever shall no vessel shall who shall
if any american citizen shallno will shall the consul shall and if there shall the effects shall the party shall the property shall if a will shall
the consuls of the united states of america shall they shall they shall if any citizens of the united states shallthe consul shall unless he shall any redress shall
if any difference shallpeace and harmony shall a friendly application shall that application shall no appeal shall no appeal shall and if a war shall nine months shall otherwise shall the citizens of the united states shall the treaty shall it shall
In 2015 I collaborated with the scholar Omar Berrada at the annual Tamaas workshop in Paris, France. We were exploring issues of racism in Morocco, particularly in the wake of sub-Saharan Africans attempting to cross to Europe from Morocco. As part of our exploration Omar brought to my attention The Treaty of Peace and Friendship with Morocco, signed in 1787, between the United States of America and Morocco. ‘If/Shall’ is based on this Treaty. I presented the first draft of this poem at our presentation at the end of the workshop. The treaty has been in existence for 232 years and remains the ‘longest unbroken treaty relationship in United States history’.