blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2010  Vol. 9  No. 2
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translation by Issa J. Boullata

May Love Be Praised

About him:    
                        Praise be to Him who has made love a “fate” for us
                        Offer your rose before the dream is extinguished
                        This month is one of God’s months that is beginning
                        O strange woman
                        And the farthest distance from you is alienation

About her:
                        Praise be to Him who has made a “fate” for us
                        of one love meeting another love
                        and who has made Time more knowledgeable than we are
                        Two eyes observing the horizon of love’s absence, wondering
                        will it rise when the sunrise is on the wane

Both singing:
                        Have mercy on a love that is more
                        than a woman coming out of a man’s rib
                        more than a swelling, leaving an emptiness inside her
                        Praise be to you
                        she is the resurrection of a voice coming from nonbeing
                        after life has flowed into its limbs

                        Primordial matter of chaos
                        is what knocked on heaven’s doors
                        a kiss of intercession pouring out on its palms
                        when night is more than a long chapter in the novel of time

                        Come, I will paint a star on your palm
                        and the henna of vision on your other palm
                        Wave to a direction no one knows but you
                        and no one will tread on but me
                        Make the dry river in my land gush
                        There is water here that used to overflow
                        being a flood of the gods of love

                        And washing myself in you
                        is a bridge that God has extended between two hearts
                        The water was abundant when it met us
                        so abundant that it was drowned by us

Confidential whisper:
                        This breath coming out from deep inside, “Aaah
                        praise be to you. Help, help. Save us from yearning.”  end

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