Joumana Haddad
Joumana Haddad
The Return of Lilith
Wildcats shall meet with hyenas;
goat-demons shall call to each other.
There too Lilith shall repose,
and find a place to rest.
Isaiah 34:14


I am Lilith, returned from her exile.

I am Lilith, returned from the prison of white oblivion, lioness of the master and goddess of the twin moons. I gather in a cup what cannot be gathered, and I drink it, for I am the priestess and the temple. I leave no drop for no one, lest they think I have had enough. I copulate and multiply by myself to make a people from my own, and then kill my lovers to make way for those who did not know me.

I am Lilith, the forest woman. I did not know a hopeful wait but I have known lions and true beasts. I impregnate all parts in me to weave the tale; I gather voices in my womb to complete the number of slaves. I eat my body so I am not accused of hunger and I drink my water so I am not thirsty. My tresses are long for the winter and my bags have no ceiling. Nothing quenches me and nothing fills me, and I return to be the lioness of the lost on earth.

Long are my tresses
Far
And long
Like a smile fading away in the rain
Slumber after pleasure reached.
My shivers are scars of shadows sometimes
And gleams of the blade, at all times.

I am the guardian of the well, the sum of contrasts. Kisses on my body are the scars of those who tried. From the flute between the thighs my song rises and from my song flows the curse, water on the earth.

I am the two moons Lilith. The hand of every maiden, the window of every virgin. The angel of the fall and the conscience of light slumber. Daughter of Delilah, Magdalena and the seven fairies. From my lust mountains rise and rivers break. I return to injure the wisp of virtue with my water and rub the ointment of sin on the wounds of deprivation.

I am the curse of past curses
The enticer of boats so the storm will not abate
My names bejewel your tongues when thirsty you
Follow me as the touch follows the kiss
And take me like the night on his mother’s breast.

I am Lilith the secret of fingers that insist. I open the road and uncover dreams and lay bare the cities of manhood for my deluge. I do not gather two from each kind but I become them so the species will be pure from any virtue.

The dreams are all open to me
I am the conscience of light slumber
I wear and shed the dream
entice the boats away and don’t guide the storm
I scatter the sky with the cunning of a cloud
So no one gets my honey
I have no home and no pillow
I am the naked
Who gives nudity the flower of its meaning.

I am Lilith the cup and the server
I came to say:
More than one cup for me
I came to say:
The server is blind
I came to say:
Adam, Adam, you are busy with many matters but the need is one.

Gather me
The need is one
Come gather me in the rain of your eyes
Stab your mounts in my abyss
Carve your features in the memory of my palms
And breathe the tigress lurking at the drop of the shoulders.

I am Lilith, the verse of apple. Books wrote me even if you did not read me. I am the unbridled pleasure the renegade wife the fulfilment of lust which brings the great destruction. My shirt is a window on madness. Whoever hears me deserves to die and whoever does not hear me will be killed by his remorse.

I am the moon within
Astray is my compass and migration my home
No caller knocks at my door
No house leads to my window
And no window exists but the illusion of a window.

I am not the stubborn steed or the easy ride, rather the shiver of the first seduction.
I am neither the stubborn horse nor the easy steed, rather the debacle of the final regret.

I am Lilith the destiny woman
Salome’s last dance and the fading of the light
I climb your night stone by stone every time the sun of absence bleeds the horizon
I climb to set a dream to the table
I delve into your vagabond mind
I make room for my head in your sleep.

For my blazes I climb up the stairways of the night
And for your dreams
I seek not certainty but obsession
Not arriving but the pleasure of not arriving.
Your night is my ladder to me
And my hand to beneath the imaginary.

I am the two genders Lilith. I am the desired gender. I take and am not given. I bring back to Adam his truth, and to Eve her ferocious breast so the logic of creation is appeased.

I am the one who was conceived under the sign of ecstasy
She whose presence rises
She whose tongue is a beehive
She who is a cake, eaten and kept
She who is the crying hunger
And who Limbo preserves.

I am the arrogance of the two breasts
Budding to grow and laugh
To want and be eaten
My breasts are salty
So high that I do not reach them:
Kiss them for me.

Two lamps hint in two lights
Budding so that their mischief may be forgiven.

I am Lilith, the lascivious angel. Adam’s first steed, corrupter of Satan. The shadow of stifled sex and its purest scream. I am the shy maiden of the volcano, the jealous because I am the beautiful whisperer of the wilderness. The first paradise could not stand me. I was pushed out to sow conflict on earth and arrange in beds the matters of my subjects.

My hand is the key to flame and the fierceness of hope
Your bodies are firewood and my hand is the fireplace
My hand is unbridled desire:
With faith
It moves mountains.

I, the goddess of the twin nights, the destiny of the wise. The unity of sleep and wakefulness. I am the foetus poet. I slew myself and found her. I return from my exile to be the bride of the seven days and the destruction of future life.

I am the seducing lioness. I return to slay the prisoners and rule the earth.
I return to mend Adam’s ribs and rid the men from their Eves.

I am Lilith, returned from exile to inherit the death of the mother to whom
I gave birth


Translated by Henry Matthews