Saturday, July 28, 2012



By Najlaa Eltom
Translated by Maysoon Elnigoumi

I recall- unwrapping this gift of death-
I recall that you are my gift
I recall your hands:
Gripping bliss with callous fingers
The bliss of mine birds: dense dull demure
Propped in a train,
 I eternally carve in them
a dream incarnating in a dream
til at last, I was blessed with your embrace.
And now my love...God’s gift
All festivities have come to an end
All nobility
All audacity
Holding in my hands, keys abandoned by their doors
I unlock dreariness
Your guards queue up the tower raising lunar plaques
Dimming, shimmering, dimming, shimmering

Here you are my beloved-enthroned
Your voice in the garden blaspheming:
For once, cease this pursuit
It was not I you were promised in the dream
Behold your face
Is this the face of a prophetess?
do I resemble a decaying miracle?
Your mistresses are needlessly moaning
I am not their augury
I never was a son to you
Here I lay
In the terror that shook you from your dream
entrapped in your copper phial
I am that vile flower

Maryam gather your dates
And with your naked foot
Pass over the body, him you have slaughtered
Pass over Maryam
Pass over your people down the valley
Pass over the river to the woods, cleft the sun’s labyrinth in twain
two mirrors
And when you have gained your conquer
Gaze deep into them
Where resurrection despairs of the dead
And eternity is consumed

Maryam Maryam Maryam
Stranded at the gates of abandonment
Where none is called upon
Where names are burned out in numbered caves
And the body is soaked in motherhood
I, swarthy deaf, amnesic
Beseech you ,mother

Reap me from the trenches
Gather your child body
From the flower of the cross
Wrap it with bushes, drape it in plagues
Reap me from oblivion
I am your infatuated arrogance sobbing penitently in the streets
A glorious regal frog
Marred in the girl’s gasp , forgotten

Here you stand before me
I fail to shield you from myself
Here you stand before me
Anguished barefooted spoiled
Entangling in the winds, sphere trodden
Sister, does your song know no end?
Lend me your ear
Cease your prayers
For a moment
Spread your palms so my heart may drink
Ravage the garden
Burn the palace
Scorn the braids of marble
And cling to shadows

My heart and thine are moon and sun
And you are now setting
If only
If only
You are moved to flee
Afore my moons rise and my stars simmer
But here you stand before me
And I fail to shield you from me
I your beloved frog
I am, what accumulates upon testimony, and am testimony to ingratitude
quench my thirst,
Rain on all ends so I may rise and baptise
So I may survive every wound
So I may sacrifice all my souls to your eclipses
My heart instilled in your heart is akin
A moon instilled in a moon
you pour now
my stars quiver now
Now your frailness strides and your swarthiness speaks
Every drop of you on me
Is my life on you
Reap me from death
And fade
For the crowds of your blood conjure the not forgotten


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