blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2010  Vol. 9  No. 2
print version
translation by Khaled Al-Masri

The Mural of Arrogance
     to Amina’s soul

The world is a
a wasteland is my destiny.

Mother, they took you and the earth covered you.
Who will soothe your heart when you descend
into the grave with no acquaintance or companion?
You call me. I know your heart
ached when my foot stumbled on the front steps.
You hastened to dress my wound.

Who will soothe your heart
when the floods engulf you?
You no longer say to me “anything for you”
O my faraway mother,
only you understand the foolishness of my fugitive smile.
“Anything for you”
O my faraway mother,
only you braid the dreams on my pillow and calm the lonely cats.
“Anything for you”
O my faraway mother,
only you are in my blood.  You are my sense of belonging, a psalm in my book
        of scriptures, a rhyme in the cameleer’s song, my armor and my fledgling
        steps forward, my rapid race to the sunset, the wing of my demanding soul.
“Anything for you”
O my faraway mother,
night’s laughter strikes me and scatters its salt in the eye of my wound
Talk to me
My heart scaled its fence so as to snatch a glimpse of your eyes,
to embrace you,
to further burden you with that which weighs heavily on the arms.
My heart was a beggar at your door, pleading glances and words.

Your voice
dried up
on the furniture in our old house.
In the middle of the night, you handed me your worn prayer beads.
Visit me in my dreams,
I am forsaken without your palm’s henna,
aged and decrepit without your spirit
so visit me
in my dreams.
Don’t be afraid,
I will conceal our reunion as best as I can.  end

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