Love and Death
From the cities of magic and the caves: Waddah arises,
Crowned by the moon of death and the fire of a shooting star,
Falling into the desert,
Carried like an orange nightingale
By the ogress with the caravans
A red feather
Is blown into the air by a magician
He wrote a charm on it
For the ladies of the cities of the wind
The words of the stones falling in the wells,
The dances of fire
Are blown into the chamber of the caliph
Becoming sometimes a poem,
Sometimes a virgin pearl
Falling at the feet of Waddah
Who carries it to bed,
A woman crying with desire
Making love with the night and the crazy light of the moon
Raving, singing, ending from where she did not begin,
Rediscovering on the bed her virginity,
Ashamed of the night
And the crazy light of the moon
She opens her eyes on the ashes of the fire of a shooting star
Falling on the desert
And a red feather
Is blown into the air by the magician
Sometimes turning into a gazelle
With horns made of gold
Sometimes into a priestess practicing seduction
And the game of the end
In the harem of the caliph
His night is haunted by ghosts and boredom.
I did not find salvation in love, but I found God.
I kissed my mistress on the carpet of light
I sang a poem for her
I granted her the sun of Bukhara,
The fields of wheat in Iraq,
The Atlas moon and the spring in Arwad
I granted her the throne of Solomon,
The fire of the night in the desert,
And the gold of the waves in the seas
Upon her lips I printed my love
For all the beautiful women of the world,
And the kisses of the lovers
Within her I sowed
A child from the people
And from the dynasty of the phoenix.
Where do these ghosts come from?
While you slept in her bed 0 Waddah,
Was it the windows of the palace?
Or perhaps the guardians of the walls
Did not close the doors?
In my sleep: I saw the river of death on your breast,
Forcing its current in the flesh of the silence
A hunting dog bites your breast
As the quail begin their migration
Following the orbit of human exile in the world and things
A face of a palace slave
Emerges from my eyes and from the mirror of this dawn
In my sleep I saw him kissing your breasts,
Lying naked over the bed of roses
Smiling for the future
Where are these ghosts from?
While you were sleeping in her bed, O Waddab
Perhaps it was the informer who relieved you
Perhaps it was the caliph who sent after you
The slave, the hunting dog, and the nightmare.
Before it came to be in the books,
In the novels and in the poems,
Othello already existed.
The scorpions of jealousy bit him, O Waddah! Before it
came to be in the books
Othello was a bloody killer,
Will not die this time.
It is you who will die.
It is you.
Othello in the turban of the caliph
Faces the masses
With his broken sword.
I didn't find salvation in love, but I found God.
I died on the carpet of love,
I didn't die by the sword.
I died inside a box, thrown in the well of night Suffocated,
my secret died with me
And my mistress, on her bed
Innocently caressing the cat, embroidering the moons In
the glacial darkness,
Reciting to the caliph
A tale about cities of magic and their buried treasures
And the morning surprises Desdemona.
Translate by Bassam k. Frangieh