Khaled Mattawa
Khaled Mattawa
Adulthood II


Where chants at last roll to their singing

also proceed the princes of rapture

softer than a dulcimer maker’s dream,


and from every side the sea brews its hubbub,

the din of skulls on sandy beaches,

the wisdom of foam, the milk of lime.


With my hands’ acumen I cling to quietude.

The wind recounts its acts of piracy

and the wind recounts its mistakes.


The denouement did not begin yesterday,

yet everything in the world is new to me,

and the birth of its song within my shell


was no less strange, always this splendor

this thing lost in the world, this high roll

of thunder crossing the volcanic plane.


One endless sentence no one understands,

the air around it torn and assembling itself

the sun flippant, the moon askance,


the same complaint rocking in waves

high and fierce, always at the apex of desire,

cormorants riding its roiling rage.