He Is Quiet And So Am I
He is quiet and so am I.
by Mahmoud Darwish
He sips tea with lemon, while I drink coffee.
That's the difference between us.
Like me, he wears a wide, striped shirt,
and like him, I read the evening paper.
He doesn't see my secret glance.
I don't see his secret glance.
He's quiet and so am I.
He asks the waiter something.
I ask the waiter something…
A black cat walks between us.
I feel the midnight of its fur
and he feels the midnight of its fur…
I don't say to him: The sky today
is clear and blue.
He doesn't say to me: The sky today is clear.
He's watched and the one watching
and I'm watched and the one watching.
I move my left foot.
He moves his right foot.
I hum the melody of a song
and he hums the melody of a similar song.
I wonder: Is he the mirror in which I see myself?
And turn to look in his eyes…but I don't see him.
I hurry from the café.
I think: Maybe he's a killer…
or maybe a passerby who thinks
I am a killer.
He's afraid…and so am I.