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28 - مايو - 2017
ما لم يُقَل بيننا - إصدار 2010

Unspoken
2010 Morocco's Poetry Prize

Translated from Arabic
Norddine Zouitni

Published by
Arab Cultural Center, Beirut/ Casablanca, 2010


 

 

  • Both wounded
    On guard against
    A long-awaited night
    That was shorter than a single pleasure,

    Its minutes like a fantasy
    Tick quietly
    On our fatigue,

    While our dream
    Promised clamor

    Both wounded
    When darkness is
    Oblivion to light,
    And lips
    The taste of ash
    Dampen
    The embers of reproach

    In the alley leading up to you
    You keep me standing
    Like a palm tree

    That can’t learn submission

    I lift up my branches
    To heaven

    Toward my depths

    How many departures will it take
    Before you become what you are more!

    Both wounded
    While this evening
    Lurks in wait
    Like a sin
    Open unto the sky,
    And palms
    See no reason
    To shake hands with the moon

    How many comings will it take
    To keep me farther away!

    Both wounded
    Glasses clink
    A failed expectation,
    And this heat freezes the senses
    In gloating delight
    Then, organs fall apart
    In boredom


    How many falls will it take us
    To rise more upright!

    A room the color of moaning
    Lost its brightness
    Where dual loving is no more

    Your lust is unable
    To repair the story

    The lover
    I was
    Disguises herself
    In the bed’s foreignness,
    While oozing kohl
    Signs the pillow

    Between the apex of my anger
    And your feigned calm
    A tear falls short
    Of untying the death-rattle
    Hemmed in between us

    Hand me
    A cigarette
    To stifle the falsity of speech,
    And a glass
    To sink in,
    Maybe drowning saves me
    From death
    On your bare chest

    O how I loved
    Your bare chest
    And how…
    It keeps now repelling me

    I threw the world
    Behind
    And rushed to you
    Extending bridges
    That the cataclysmic distance
    Brought down

    It wasn’t love
    That which we made
    It was a sumo party
    Joining two bodies
    Filled with reproach

    Gasps
    Cold perspiration
    And racing..racing..racing
    Without reaching the finish line


    The night is in decline
    Don’t keep me
    A hostage to its tropics

    And grant the dying
    A death
    Worthy of it

    You lead me unaware
    For a test of the senses
    With the heart void
    Of all but chagrin,
    Fingertips
    Gathering their own unrest,
    And a night
    Appropriate for loss

    Was it an attempt
    At freedom
    From the shackles of the body?
    Or a pretext
    To tighten the chains?

    Or because beds have no memory
    You resolved to bury me
    In the memory’s bed?

    Lovesick I came
    To merge into
    The spirit of fragrance

    The soul faded
    Behind
    A desire without spirit

    No desire
    Could extricate
    The scent of surmise

    All doubts lead to me
    So don’t expect
    From storms
    A sign for god’s wrath

    Be a god
    With the spectrum
    Tearing the sky apart,
    And embrace me
    In your thoughts
    Far away from my past
    Or bring me back to it,
    A corpse
    Seeking rest


    How dare you dig out the graves of memories
    When I took off the robes of mourning
    And came to you
    A virgin
    Washed clean
    Of your predecessors
    As love accidents
    Necessary
    For the lustful part of the journey

    All doubts point at me
    With my pulse as sole certainty
    As we become one

    What evidence
    Would please your senses
    And eliminate potential similarity
    Between twins?

    For each their own twin
    And their share of longing


    What evidence
    Behind the pulled
    Curtains
    Would open
    The night’s eyes?

    Eyes catch sight of things they adore
    Though the path of passion is not sure

    A child reaches out
    We carry him up,
    But keeps crying on our breast

    So is love
    A coward
    When exalted

    Words,
    Shed like the blood of defeat
    Find but in dust
    A cradle,
    While the echo
    Is carried on cafe tables
    Surrounded by the smoke of gossip
    And buried in ashtrays

    How far back now
    Is the thirst of the sea
    When it’s high!

    An island was ours
    When love was an astrolabe to us,
    Maps lines in our palms,
    And the wind with our breath competed
    For the tearing up of our clothes

    How far back now
    A candle lit beside
    Red toenails
    Ripe for kissing lips!

    Time and again
    The night prostrated itself to us
    And the light
    Got tired of our abandonment!


    How far back now
    Is homeland tea
    Which tasted of kisses
    And all paths led
    To a pair of breasts
    With the warmth of the desert!

    There’s still
    One kiss
    Seated
    On its luminous throne

    Deep within

    You borrow letters
    From among the colors of the soul,
    Doesn’t the red quench your lustfulness?
    Meanwhile you dyed the wilderness
    And crouched like a breast
    On lungs
    Exhaling in bits
    All their sobbing,
    When love was a friend
    And candles Competed
    With the radiance of the body

    Don't steal looks
    From behind the curtains
    My nudity has the reverence of mausoleums
    While you have the clamour of folk festivals,
    You make love without memory
    Then you repent your sins,
    You challenge the neighing of horses
    Ignorant of the breed you are riding

    Don't eye me
    Like a jailer
    Unable to keep watch
    Any longer

    The more I shake the years
    Off my heart
    The more they weigh down on my haunches,
    My cheeks
    Can no longer blush
    When you are aroused

  • Yours are letters
    “L” taking on the lead
    Assuming the pride of “O”
    While “V” elusive
    Like the gate to uncertainty

    You borrow letters
    From among the colors of the soul,
    I lent
    The dark
    To the rainbow
    And drowned
    In a drop of saliva

    Beware!

    Ink waters
    Run deep
    And digging
    Is insomnia’s friend

    Beware!

    Angels
    Have vats of sins,
    And wolves
    Blue confessions

    Certainty is yours
    But mine is nothingness

    Beware!

    Ink is a mirage
    To one in quest of a homeland

    A night
    Steals a joy
    Rushing ahead to you,
    It yawns
    Like barren ink
    And dozes off in veins

    Nothing
    Shining through the wall opening
    Stands between us

    And nothing
    Saves for us
    The genuineness of our excitement

    A dim lamp
    Like a painful confession
    Provokes
    Stray bullets
    From the mouth of a woman
    Breaking free from my skin

    And going about

    Released from you


    Our feet
    Are the trunk of departure

    Your whispers
    Keep recurring

    Secrets breathe
    Inside their tomb

    A day
    That cannot stand light
    Leading
    The temptation funeral
    I open a window
    Onto imagination,
    The distance contracts
    The moment expands

    A farewell letter
    Penned in spirit

    The wind is stronger
    Than the sails of the senses
    Weaker than the moaning of the flute
    Then, travels the horizon
    Farther than the desire of water

    A seagull
    I hold memories of ships
    And like a shell
    I carry the mystery of salt,
    Harbors keep tossing me about
    Whenever the glimmer from a lighthouse
    Leaks through the artery

    I pack my dream
    Into mirrors
    So that I recognize its features
    Amidst the crowd

    Then I untie the words
    From their pins
    Hoping the words carry me high
    Where
    Feelings embrace meaning

    I close my eyes
    To behold the gardens of spirit
    Hoping the soul
    Turn into dew
    And the heart
    Into the pulsations of a rose

    O you! Tampering with me
    For your own sport
    Roses bloom
    Out of passion for questions

    They dry

    Yet, no questions rise

    Desire
    Crosses darkness
    To the other bank

    Eyes open the night
    Onto the dawn of the body

    Errant is your night


    Leave your address
    Before you fall asleep

    Autumn shakes my forests
    Some tiny leaves
    Cling to your steps

    Slow down

    Rustling still has
    A song

    Butterflies might return
    From their burning,
    The cricket from its wandering,
    And the queen bee
    To its throne

    While the ant
    Teaches us the secret of faithfulness

    To love
    Learn
    To die a little

    Farther
    We went than love

    Where indifference
    Sets in

    Following the flow
    Of your waters
    Toward tomorrow

    And like the wind
    Reinventing the sense of touch

    Whenever the tide ebbed
    Our eyes fixed into the sand
    We danced like desire
    At the borders of foam

    Quenching our thirst from the spring of time
    Like the children of a new dawn

    We caressed the laughter of the wind
    With lips hardened

    From intense kissing

    Many times
    We lost the way
    But to each other,

    And longing brought us back
    To a tune
    Which we nursed
    Like an orphan

    Many times
    We trampled
    The monotony of days
    With the lightness of a butterfly

    And hid
    In the shade
    Of our future dreams

    Coloring
    The maps of the body


    Thus

    As the rainbow
    Quit
    The waist of the sky

    So
    You did to my rivers
    Once upon a flow

    Your thirst has no limits

    How much water is needed
    To baptize this love!

    Days are alike
    Moving farther away
    Adamant,
    Floating in fog

    I cross the bridge
    In the silence of a pebble
    Preserving
    Solidly
    The story’s pain

    You dream
    Of chopping a mountain
    That cropped up between us

    I return to a place
    That would not conjure up my past

    I converse
    With album photos
    My life
    Colored by you


    I stoop
    Stumble
    Disperse
    Break
    Consolidate
    Rise
    Straighten up

    I love the reflection
    Of my memory
    On the face of water

    Whenever we took
    A step back

    I ran ahead of my death
    To you

    I sow apples
    All along the distances
    To mature in your absence


    We met by chance,
    We fell in love by chance,
    And this pain
    Creeping
    Into weary suitcases
    On the pavement of our last chance
    Is a drop of semen
    Fallen by chance
    Into the womb of obstinacy


    Take me


    Take me
    To another end
    Where coincidences are dates.

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