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A Cloud of Glue

translated by Nancy Coffin

I proclaim : Tomorrow
I will stertch out over the spacious day,
Shaded by clouds instead of planes,
I will search among the bombs and the mud
For what is left of my life and my friends.
I will fill my lungs with alleys and jasmine
And return home without manifestos
Carving my dreams into corpses and outrages.
] Oh you first anxiety
Oh you final homeland
All that we have
Is a country like our dreams
And an annihilating desire.[
And I, amidst the nakedness of the bombs, to whom shall I turn ?
Raising my vessel to the sky,
I parcel out among the holes of the places my face
and this murdered space.
Huddled, like a wet bird,
The last bullets pass over my body,
And embroiders its days with blossoms of destruction.
With the needle of hope, I will mend
The shirt of my youth, torn at the heart
Only to be ripped again by shots.
Tomorrow when the war is ended by force
Who will gather up the fragments ?
Who will restore to the war widow her budding blossom ?
Cautiously, I steal away, beneath the dark cover of nostalgia
Toward the branches of the country, rent apart in a moment
or desiccated in an instant.
And compare the spring branches
To the branches of the bomb,
And I say, good morning, my country,
Which taught us to disperse
Between the chairs of antiquated coffee shops and electrified
confessions,
Between lowly houses
And a faithless woman.
The nation will pack us into spaces
Fastened together by the glue of fear
We will scan the horizon :
Black
Greening with grassy hope,
Harvested by airplanes.
Or blue
That will redden with our blood
Only to be confiscated by billboards.
Or a slow ash,
That, like our memories,
Will settle bit by bit in the soul.

Najaf, 4 / 21 / 1987


(Ghimat al Samgh)
from the collection of the same name


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