My Heart Hides In A Blue Rose - Poem by Khaled Juma
A hand of seas and incense leans its elbows on my horizon, while
I carry two ravens like an unassailable and tyrannical history, I refuse my eyes
the sight of the fire filling the expanse flowing away over
the distant hills, distant as the idea of eternity, I form an acid
shadow to bequeath to my friends who have crossed life's boundary
freed from the weight of their skin and from their capacity for
sadness, they have got a rhythm made of magic and from dimensions we do not know
we who are fleeting from what is near.
I try to dispel the drone of the city in my soul
I dismiss it like a troublesome fly, I rub it between my fingers, I gnash
at it with forgetfulness' teeth and it hides itself like a grain among the sand
I am defeated before it like any lover and I leave it to single out my blood
like a doll that nothing can stop from living up to the expectations of a girl who has packed
the world into her little heart.
I am baffled by how a budding rose can beautify disaster
like an unassailable bride, I am baffled by my rising again from the dwindling of my corpse to nothing
every time in order to die and outline the resurrection like a mountain peak that
cannot be reached, I am baffled by the women when they sit in the vault
of memory measuring clothing with words on bodies that have forgotten
their femininity to give the country taste and smell, I am baffled by my bafflement
and the oranges.
I allot a little daytime in which to compose a girlfriend and a street
and a school at the end of the road and a daily walk which never ends
in which there is a nightingale who excels at changing the seasons when it bores of the weather as
persistent as our names, in which there is a stone on which we have carved letters
testing time and affection, in which there is a constant starting point
that we lag behind every time the sun weakens its resistance before
it sets, in which there are trees jealously guarding our little tykes
when they excavate their daffodil skin, in which there are windows for a quick
getaway when the voice of a mother rocks the sky as she searches for
her stray daughter.
My letters come a million years late in the medieval postal
system, I open their houses to let fall the wheat of words, I pick up
in turn what I want, looking for my name which is being watched
for the slaughter before the coolness of the paper betrays it and before the language
which I know changes, my char grilled expectance bores into me, so I drag along
a locomotive of old tales, closing my bereaved letter
and wait for the post.
In the days that are of hope
my heart hides in a blue rose
while a swallow watches over it from afar.
Translated from Arabic.
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