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I am of you.
You raise me with your means,
and my spirit is steadfast in its love.
Because of it I remain clinging to delusions,
and in the shade I search for a twin
to pair it with what has settled in the depths
of this body’s desire.
But which body is it?
I hear music calling you.
Your heart is wide enough to house me.
As soon as I move further
I only become a woman
who is not content with the blame that lights her shade.
I was never yours before,
but even in space I do move about
dispersing my being.
The fickle pace of the days grinds on
and nothing settles except what peers from our windows.
It gains strength with the wind that carries it on its back and spins it.
And so the days have spun us too.
Will you turn your head a bit to the back?
Do you recall me
then hold my hand and guide it toward farewell?
I will not be alone,
and you will not be – after this – alone.
The river of my affection rolls on,
its tributaries are countless.
Will it quench your thirst
to walk further into your question?
I become the daughter of an un-lived time
whenever I open the door for the word,
and daughter of this night that muffles your secrets
which I hold so that you would not reveal them.
If you’d uttered them, your longings would have scattered along the horizon.
But no horizon will save you from this disbursement,
and no death after the death that has wound our hearts together.
How will we abbreviate the nations and the histories within us?
I remain a stranger to you, I know,
but closer than this blood that throbs in your veins.
I collapse into loss.
I say: I will move on.
Will you care for this sapling that wakes beside you?
Will you proceed through love toward it?
Which is your favourite, the henna flower or the lemon blossom,
the soul that is of you,
or am I born in the wink of your lips as they say “I love you”?
Have you said such a thing,
or do I hear it in dream?
I dance on a hand span of earth.
It will suffice me if ever I held this word
that leaps from lips toward the heart
and sleeps like a sparrow in the nest of its birth.
I long for your hands,
two doves that shade the blaze of my longing.
Do you too miss me, or do you not remember
the particulars of my voice?
I say: we have one outlet, no more,
from this confusion, toward the sadness
of this love that has dropped us in its abyss,
toward this wide earth that is too narrow for us,
toward the soul in which we mirror each other, toward that shape.
We go on into the question
like a cloud that rains whenever the winds tempt it.
What wind can bind us,
and why do we enact our insistence on parting?
Maybe our cruelty has ripened
and now our wish for rupture has overpowered us.
Maybe our worries have returned again.
How do we muffle our love,
and how can I hear your voice in this world
when I hear nothing but it?
You, who’ve fed me the bread of your love,
I’ve sought refuge from you.
I said: kill it inside you and save yourself?
But have I spared myself one solitude
only to live another where my language is shattered.
How did this fruit ripen so?
My questions are in the sea.
You arrive and I leave.
You reveal nothing and I talk too much.
I spend the day touching events as they pass.
I speak to see myself.
Travel is hung on a hook.
The seller of lies is on his daily tour.
We walk behind him with our stories
to keep busy,
to acquire a calm mood
without profound questions or fruit,
without a heart that beats, not even once.
Like pebbles on the road,
they tread upon us and we remain,
stones that listen well
and roll along.
Time is in their hands,
and in us constant dreams
and images of that fruit.
Translated by Khaled Mattawa