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
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 :
Greening with grassy hope,
Harvested by airplanes.
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
Translated by Nancy Coffin