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Passage to Exile

Poem No.: 20 :

The moaning of the train kindles the sorrow of the tunnels

Roaring along the rails of everlasting memories

While I am nailed to the window

With one half of my heart

And the other half on the table

Playing poker with a girl whose thighs are exposed

With shock and pain, she asks

Why my fingers are falling apart,

Like the wood of old coffins,

And hasty, as if they are afraid of not being able to grab anything

I tell her about my homeland

And the banners

And colonization

And the glory of the Nation

And the sex in public bathrooms

Then she leans, with her wet hair, over my tears,

And does not understand

While, in the other corner

Mozart scatters his tones over the snow-covered valleys

My homeland is sad beyond necessity

And my songs are aggressive, refractory, and shy

I will stretch out on the first sidewalk I reach in Europe

And hold my legs up for the pedestrians

To show them the traces of school bastinados, and the ones from jails

Those that got me here

What I carry in my pocket is not a passport

But a history of opperssion

Where, for fifty years, we have been chewing animal diet

And speeches

And hand-made cigarettes

As we stand before the gallows

Watching our own hanging corpses

And applauding the rulers

Out of fear for our families

Whose files fill the basements of secret-service buildings

Where the homeland

Begins with the presidents speech

And ends with the presidents speech

And in between, there are the presidents streets, the presidents songs, the presidents museums, the presidents gifts, the presidents trees, the presidents factories, the presidents newspapers, the presidents stable, the presidents clouds, the pre

She will stare for a lond time

At me rain and spit moistened eyes

Then she will ask : What country are you from ?!


Translated: Abbas Kadhim. USA


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