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What happened to the Sage

Poem No.: 16 النص العربي: لا يوجد

As he was delivering his lecture ..

In the crowded hall

They were there

Patterning his corpse after the latest intelligence reports

And leaving the remnants of his blood

in the family refrigerator.

When he left the podium

Amid the music of applause

He groped for his neck

And found nothing but a terrible emptiness

Then a long gash, still damp above his collar.

He raced in a panic

toward the audience ..

Calling for help from the deserted chairs …

Stumbling on the chuckles of echoes.


No one

But an old watchman

Went on

About a crazy man

He had seen – just a while ago –

Searching …

Between the seats

for his severed head.



Amman, 1993


Translated by Nancy Coffin

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