We are not an island,
except to whoever sees us from the sea.
Wine in half the cup,
the other half was not empty;
it was lost in ecstasy
is to breathe unused air.
They delighted in sleeping
because of the treasures it lay
between their eyes.
I write about love
the way a child draws his impressions of
An impossible dream
is kinder than a rampant delusion.
The curtain on the window
is an orderly more powerful
than his sultan.
A vessel between water and fire,
an enticement for flames.
He counted his friends to me
on the fingers of his hand.
Then I realized
that his hand had no fingers.
Both seek to grant prosperity to the people
under one power.
I am not free to accept.
I am free only to oppose.
I see the wind playing with the banner
of this place,
while people go without air.
A space crowded with answers.
Everyone is singed with answers.
Answers in every comer,
and in everything
there are questions.
He wants to apologize,
not because he was an enemy
but because he revealed himself as one.
Pigs are useful too.
They sing about the garbage bins.
She is like a state.
She puts on her make-up
and talks to her mirror,
and never listens to people.
All this night
is not enough for my dreams.
we do nothing but confirm the futility
that has been impossible to detect.
I let my memory graze on its own…
To forget the wound and remember the knife.
is said to be the opposite of the past,
and we are in an endless present.
I have many secrets.
I stud them in my poems
and I toss them in the air of language.
Someone has to expose them.
This person I do not know
and who does not know me,
why is he so late in arriving
to the loneliness of the sidewalk.
The children grind their teeth,
and grind with their hearts.
you are not alone.
There are countless other hermits.
I look at them;
they are ready to change their stances
by simply shuffling their shoes.
They meet to dialogue
and they exchange points of view
the way they exchange masks.
is a flagrant accommodation of folly.
You will not convince him with words
if he is not convinced by reality.
Before you sleep
place a rose on your chest.
What is the difference..
between someone blind
and someone who does not want to see.
The clicking of my chains fills the place,
who claim freedom.
My lip trembles now before a word...
My lip is defeated.
Be prepared... the past is coming.
Translated by Khaled Mattawa From Naqd aL-Amal. Dar aL-Kunooz al-Adabiya, Beirut 1998