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A Cloud of Glue

Poem No.: 18 النص العربي: لا يوجد

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 :

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


Translated by Nancy Coffin

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