Mustafa Stitou

(1974 / Tetouan)

Summum Bonum - Poem by Mustafa Stitou

At night, in a remote corner of the universe,
drunk adolescents reduce a reconstruction
of a prehistoric village to ash.

Soaring temperatures. The furniture emporiums,
deserted. Those who have not fled, neither
to the coast nor a theme park, lay aside

their weapons of a day in their back yards
and lie down, prone yet fearless. The cold
domestic tyrant thaws in his swimming trunks,

observes the twins - no longer annoyed,
astonished by their similarity, sighing, letting
his dream muscle relax, absent-mindedly

closing his eyes. The left twin, the right twin,
hunting insects naked in the shrubs, suppressed
cries of astonishment, all concentration.

Other gardens bring royal roars of laughter,
preschool pop, dogs barking, a radio voice that says
‘the suspect has admitted

shooting a ballpoint pen into his father's eye
with a crossbow'. With a smile at the ready,
Mum emerges in a bikini, her nerves under control

today unaided, a motionless tray with two glasses of iced tea
and two of green cordial on one flat hand. Already looking
forward to the memories, she startles her hubby

awake with the lightest kiss on his lips - and this time
Dad doesn't swear but rises beaming from his deck chair,
whispers "you've got to hear this" in Mum's ear,

disappears into the wide-open fortress.

Let fate yo-yo, adversities come and go,
today they're not afraid of anything, the stay-at-homes,
the peacemakers, the cheerful caricatures - listen,

from the domestic tyrant's hobby room comes
the sound of a babbling brook.

Translation: 2013, David Colmer

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, June 15, 2017

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