Other Language
The Sea has its Transformations ... Make Way
Translated by: Lena jayyusi and Cbristopber Middleton

Whoever saw a sea so narrow
narrow narrow
like the pupil of an eye
I mean - who
I have seen
and it's narrowing still
hardly space enough for the sputter of a strange gull
small fish can find no space in which to make a turn

Turn the discourse around
Language alone discards the images and disperses them
It is not me
language alone
So the sea invades the alleys
tinier than the gurgle of snails
as they suffocate

Hardly enough of it to make a hat
for the island, solitary, standing
in the cold
The solitary island remains
head bare and alone
The wind dispatches news to it
the storm, which is coatless, does not arrive

We don't have enough of it to make a shirt
for a child
Smaller than a handkerchief waving goodbye
A narrow sea like this
what am I to do with it?

A sea that has claws and is fiercer than
a bird betrayed
He who knows the tiny narrow sea
has the right to set sail for weeping
for the island is bigger than the sea
the sea

Bigger, bigger
more spacious and glorious
open to the heavens and to names
and to secrets not to be revealed
and the sea is narrower than books and prison cells
more constricted than the meetings
between a prisoner and his wife

Is the sea a harbor?
Is it a peg for the tribal tent?
The teardrop of a land ringed by desert?
And where do the ships go?
How do they cast off
with the travelers, the messages
the sails and the ancient fishes?

A sea?
It doesn't even wash over the first letter of the word
It doesn't even wake the mountain up
Funeral feasts have no special place in it

Its messages are kept by it
Its messages are meant for it alone
What close-fisted sea is this?
It doesn't come to rescue the drowning man
It doesn't hear or see
A tongue but it doesn't understand languages

Turn the discourse around
Let the sea reject

make it rise up
Give it a spaciousness
and a plentitude of shores.