Layla Wa Tawba

(Extract from poetry book 'Layla wa Tawba'

(And Tawba has a slow walk over sunny surfaces,
And a handful of wheat for the doves
And reddened eyelids after crying,
And a face like a cloth for its greenness,
And no peace comes to it, no peace comes) .

I see you, in a splash of grey waves, as sad doves
Looking among the shores in search of Noah's Ark.
I see you seal your wing
And, with singing, hide your wounds.
I see you a stranger in the land in which you come and go
I see you, outwardly, a mood ruined like the waves, or as a tired one's smile
Between the beginning and finish.
And tomorrow you're erased, as a tattoo, from over the beautiful lips
Or vanish like the rest of the henna.
And tomorrow,
Like the cultivated land in the sun,
You dry out crevice after crevice,
And open your chest towards the whiteness in the sky
And tomorrow you will cry
In mourning of a single stone
In mountains almost killed by their own bending.

And tomorrow, like a black cloak, women take you off on the chairs,
And like singing
After the end of the wedding,
You stay, an echo, inside yourself
And the convoys of your family march at morning to Egypt,
And you alone stay behind
And so take a step towards the south,
And a step towards the north,
And look for the morning words to utter them at evening.
It wasn't living for you to say: 'I'm finished', and it wasn't
An amour for you to say: 'It's finished'.
You were the prayer, the one prayed to and the imam,
So beautiful patience, because you...
Beautiful patience, perhaps you…
Patience, I almost kiss the mud you once walked on,
To carry the shoes instead of you
I almost descend verses of love from my heart's revelation,
And send myself
By myself, a prophet to you, for you to lift your brow, made yellow by the tiredness of the star shining on it...
And wipe off sweat intermixed with belonging
with the ripping of roots from origin, intermixed with blood
So beautiful patience, o one that is beloved by the lands… and the women.

by Hussein Barghouthi

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