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Shade And Noon Sun

Poem No.: 71 النص العربي: لا يوجد

All the fields of the world

At odds with two small lips

All the streets of history

At odds with two bare feet.



They travel and we wait

They have gallows

We have necks

They have pearls

And we have freckles and moles

They own the night, the dawn, the afternoon sun and the day

And we own skin and bones.


We plant under the nooday sun,

And they eat in the shade

Their teeth are white as rice

Our teeth dark as desolate forests,

Their breasts are soft as silk

Our breasts dusty as execution squares

And yet, we are the kings of the world:

Their homes are buried in bills and accounts

Our homes are buried in autumn leaves

In their pockets they carry the addresses

of thieves and traitors

In ours we carry the addresses

of rivers and thunderstorms.

They own windows

We own the winds

They own the ships

We own the waves

They own the medals

We own the mud

They own the walls and balconies

We own the ropes and the daggers.


And now beloved

Come, let us sleep on the pavements.


translated by May Jayyusi and John Heath-Stubbs, from Modern Arabic Poetry: An Anthology, edited by Salma Khadra Jayyusi. - 1987 - Columbia University Press.

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