By Mohamed El Maghout
By Mohamed El Maghout
And with my heart that thumps like a little red rose
I’ll bid farewell to my sad things, some night
The stains of ink,
The traces of cold liquor on the sticky oilcloth
The silence of the lengthy nights
And the mosquitoes that suck my blood,
These are my sad things
I’ll go away from them, far away, far away,
Beyond the city sunken in sewers of tuberculosis and smoke
Away from the harlot
Who washes my clothes in the stream
The thousand eyes, in the dark,
Gazing at her bony legs,
Her cold cough, coming subdued and desperate
Through the broken window,
As well as the alley, winding like a rope made of slaves’ corpses.
I’ll leave them all mercilessly.
And deep inside of me, oh father,
I carry for you an overwhelming
Revolution of a people fighting with dirt, stone and thirst
And many sad mirrors
reflecting a long night
And freezing cold lips eating pebbles, hay and death.
There’s been a while I haven’t seen a shimmering star
nor a dove, fair, cooing in the valley
I no longer drink tea by the mill
While the birds of the pristine mountains
Yearn for my beloved Leila
And long for her gorge as deep as the sea’s
I no longer squat the alleys
Wherein the idleness
And the hopeless love on doorsteps.
So, send me a red tile from our rooftops
And a lock of my mother’s hair,
She, who cooks you supper under the moonlight,
Wherein the sad neighing
And the up to daybreak wedding ceremonies
In the harvest nights.
Sell my sister’s earrings
And send me money,
Oh father to get an inkwell
And a girl in whose lap I would gasp like a child,
To tell you about noontide, yawning, and women thighs,
The still waters, like urine behind the walls,
And the breasts whose sweetness is consumed in the dark.
I stay up late, dad
I don’t sleep,
My life is darkness, bondage and waiting.
Give me back my childhood
And my old laughs on the cherry tree
And my sandals hanging on the vine
And I’ll give you my tears, my sweetheart, my poems
For I will go away, oh father.
Translated by Asma Azza, edited by Chokri Omri. Photo by Ouiam Mallouk
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