I mine souls

and light the ashes of books,

spurred on by the pangs of loss

When the orphans come

to me

out of the waves

I spread my eye’s gaze


I have the well sit next to me

I and prepare tea for Time


Move away, desert!

and come forward, O sea!

with the garments of your light waves


The miner of birds’ souls

and the one who wakes the peoples of sand

is asking you for fresh milk

from the depths of your throat

for these orphan waves

hungry at my hand

since the day of creation


For these impoverished waves

they have yet to see any sky

or earth


For these tiny waves

they have never ascended

the mountain of desire


never seen life

on that mountain


For these waves

they did not fall, all of a sudden,

from the mountain

like birds swooping down

to the sandy shore


For these waves

they have yet to break

as they should

Translated by Sinan Antoon and published in Banipal 38 – Arab American Authors in the feature on Four Emirati Poets


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