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Like a Stone at the Bottom

Translated by: Mada Albuazi 


You are right,

What good are they, 

these currents that pull us in randomly,

like love?

It would have been much easier if we simply fell in,

having died at some massacre,

and forgotten like a stone at the bottom,

Or if we remained where we were and called an old love,

that has withered on the banks,

to pull us out,

Love is blind like massacres

But massacres, at least,

don't lengthen our journey.


Life swept me like my mother swept me from her loins. I roll off like due rolls off a prickly pear. Or I become thorns. Thorns as they are, bloody and poisonous and sick. Overripe. Just like my heart, when it laid on the coals of my indecision with you. Have you settled your question yet? Or is it still moving away like a river? 

The road signs sweep me.

I stop for pain and it crashes into me from behind, when my father dies in his sheets with no introduction.

I stir towards joy but then my fuel runs out of any, and I plummet to the rocks, where my little obedient tigers commit suicide.


I give the right of way to love, to dark, comfortable and weighty desire, to believing in you this way, with no reason, this way, like the love of God, who we do not know and who does not know us. I give way to rosy thoughts, shaped like cartoon films, and then suffer amnesia after a violent car crash.  


Where have my tigers gone? Who turned them into predators? Who gave them sharp teeth like yours? Who made them terrifying like your face when you left?




But you went far like a river. Rather you went far like that river, in which I became a stone. I haven’t ceased trying to heal my feet from all the running I ran so that I could see you charging towards me. And you charged, you passed me by and left me behind, and I would run again, and you would charge, pass me by and leave me behind again. You and my tigers, and my mother’s milk.




I write because I never tasted milk from her breasts,

It leaked blood,

and my poetry became sick like it,

I realised then, that something went wrong,

but I did not see the damage to poetry,

I grew up and my poems came and went like running water,

making it fit for drinking.

We drink the water of Aleppo. It is ripe. The water of Bosnia. It's smell spreading like first menstruation. It is sharp like filth. The waters of Aden. Heavy as the feet of camels in quicksand. The garden of Eden. Rivers of wine. Aden, doesn’t it resemble the color of wine?


We have enough to drink,

we have enough to drink,

before we die and enter Eden.

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