Treasure Island

Sargon Boulus

(1944-2007 / Iraq)

The story will be told

On the highest deck -
in the lowest dump as well -
there's always a storyteller.
The story will be told.
Whose story: mine or yours?
Perhaps . . . his? No matter from whose
point of view, it will
be told: you, making up a story
full of gaps about me.
I, narrating your
tragi-comical tale?
Perhaps, he, the one ignorant
of all our days?
It will be told.

Even the language of metaphor
hoarded like pulp in a giant sponge,
even the secrets of the tribe
hidden in the moth-eaten saddlebags
of time, shall find a haven in words
with a slip from the storyteller's
tongue, a mere stroke of the pen.
So are the tales spun from nothing
for a world that is nothing in the end
but a tale paring its fingernails
like James Joyce's god,
waiting to be told.
And though
it loses its shine
with the passage of days,
yet like a record
without a needle, it will recite
what details there are: those worthy
of being recited
to whoever has a pair of ears.

Translated by the author

Submitted: Thursday, November 14, 2013

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