Dalia Taha
Additional Poem – WAR

Additional Poem continued from Banipal 45 – Writers from Palestine, p 174

Translated by Allison Blecker


WAR

There is one moon
in the sky. There is one river
in my forearm.
And Berlin is vast,
godless.

The stranger
I met
there doesn’t know that
the desert
he escaped from
is drowning in whiteness;
the snow is black in
our city
and the gardens slowly die
as they emerge from
the shadow of a child killed
by shrapnel.

As in Gaza,
where every corpse drags a hand
from the rubble
to beckon to God,
everything there
points to
a war
that is over and done with.
The stranger and I
believe in the war’s traces
that heal in
the poem’s sky so
we can forget
the wars of our homeland unfolding
in the pathways
of the body.

The stranger doesn’t know
how much the one who died from a stray bullet
resembles
or doesn’t resemble him.
“Only flies notice
the hero’s death
at the end.”

There, everything
dies slowly,
to become
a river bank.
The stranger and I
used to cross the bridge without
noticing the river
swelling behind us.

On the horizon, the cypresses and balconies
proceed with suicide.
Perhaps
I was going to forget
my hand in his,
and steal
exile.



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