Other Language
translated by: Bassam Frangieh
I don't know how
I sit this way, my head the hat of the universe and my hands in a frenzy.
I am not tired or sad
I see whiteness, towers of chaos
I touch the ink, my palms a paradise of speech. Letters pour over shrapnel's of clouds as prey fall into a trap.
I don't know how
so I begin
I give my body to the silk of surprises,
I succumb, hallucinating shooting stars,
and I follow the reverberation of the angels as they glorify ambiguity. I don't know how
But I beg the Secret to select me as a slave
so I may write, to weave mirrors and decorate forms for an aged whiteness in metamorphosis.
Perhaps the dead will rise in their colorful shirts.
Perhaps they will touch their goblets and exchange toasts in a clamorous morning.
Then the wine loses its strength.
It talks to me like a friend, exhausted from travel
and I know, then, that I was the dream and the dream remained, I am water in the galaxy of the poem.


is Professor of Arabic at Yale University, USA, and au thor of several books, including Alien atien and fhr Palestinian Novel (Arabic). He has translated leading Arab Poets and novelists into English.