Salah Abdel Sabour

(1931-1981 / Egypt)

The Sun And The Woman

Poem by Salah Abdel Sabour

Restless she stirs as she reclines,
A setting sun,
Bleeding with a hidden light
Torn in fragments in the crook of the shadow.
Restless she stirs as she reclines,
Covers up her wrinkled legs
stretches out all blue
Her eyes now kindle, now go out,
Her lashes droop and tremble
As she recollects a golden age
In company with a man so crazy
He could not keep from laying her down on the grass
And devouring her breasts
till she wept with exhaustion.
She arises from her bed when night falls
Laves her old age in water of the sea
and sleeps, to be born a virgin in the approaching morning.
She shakes her pendulous breasts
Searches between them for the key to the room
Looks about her feeling her way through the sands,
And gets up, worn and gray.
From the nearest shop she buys
Bread for her needs, and cigarettes and wine,
Goes back again and drowses in her past
Making it anew.
The morning pulls the tresses of the virgin sun
And spreads them upon the earth.
She smiles in death
Her hands upon her breasts
Water dribbles at her mouth.

Translated by Lena Jayyusi and John Heath-Stubis

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, May 13, 2014