I Set Her Free And I Died, Twice - Poem by Khaled Juma
At the gate of eternity, a friend carved a heart for his friend, as if he knew him.
He said: You did not need yourself to exit, and gift it to a girl aimed like an unseen shooting star.
He said: I withhold all my ships from all my seas to die, holding the language of two eyes stowing sadness like wine.
He said: As if she's a woman with a loom of terror for threads of wind, coiffing the unknown to sow it out of season.
He said: As if she's a cat.. as if I'm a yarn ball.
He said: Give me the skin of a song to open the night's window on my star that lit none but itself.
He said: I gave you fire, what need have you for windows?
He said: Rupture of the unknown resembles it, and I resemble none, even my image in the mirror
He said: You see no one in your mirror, yet?
He said: In my last look in the glass, two phantoms came out biting the distance between the mirror and me.
He said: You saw nothingness in a box of words on a table, and yet, you're still a lover?
He said: I emptied myself from itself to fill it with, and it overflowed.
He said: Your story is a wheat field, whose guard escaped before the wheat berries bowed on their stem.
He said: My tale is a sailor tormented by pearls and ambiguous distances between her eyes and the truth.
He said: What is truth?
He said: To be what you acknowledge you are.
He said: Thus you have defined insanity, two seasons ago, on the edge of fate woven from ancient verses.
He said: Fate woven of ancient verses stumbles when it guards the forest of her secret dream.
He said: Her dream is secret fire and half deities abandoned on the edges of essence.
He said: Her horses are the prairie of questions, her armies are the silence suited for a suitable massacre.
He said: I have no horses, no armies, and no massacre; I am the holder of absence of its feathers and dreams.
He said: Merge in the essence, unequivocal revelation comes to you.
He said: There is no essence without reeds and flutes, there is no revelation resembling despair unless the road dies.
He said: The way of vision is the longest, yet it gives when you do.
He said: I do not barter, I do not fight, I am gifted to shadows that fell without bodies.
He said: You sun is afar, as a wave in a desert. Kill it so it lives in you.
He said: If it dies, the essence dismounts the memory's lane, and eternal guards are alerted to the corners of my soul.
He said: Cling to your flutes under the shadow of unseen reeds, your reverie will come before your vision.
He said: I'm too tired to craft a moon.
He said: The moon is crafted by tiredness and fire refines words spoken.
He said: I watch her running fearing her shadow, I fear her for her shadow.
He said: Shadow's torment is its night, it hangs its questions, and wipes it like chalk until morning comes out of its throat.
He said: Set her free
He said: I set her free, and I died, twice.
He said: Experience your fire in her spirit.
He said: I'll bake my silence to return her to the beginning of words.
He said: …
He said: …
Translated from Arabic by Nida Awine
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