And our life, cousin, is punctured, it does not sail

ALAA HASANIN -Translated by: Ibrahim Al-sharif

We don’t have mothers
we have sins,
gravel over the pathways
and salt in the old wounds
we don’t have friends
we have a long echo
after our long call,
that leave
and don’t return,
we lend to passers by
and empty endings
for the long waits.
And we don’t have fathers,
we have old memories
of people
sitting by the sea
people who left
with the sea
like old fishing boats
that wander in each sea
like clouds
like lost names
like old fishing boats
that don’t return to the piers
until after
all the people of the city
wander away from the city.
And we don’t have a life,
our life is pierced
it doesn’t sail,
our feet
are planted in the sand
and our dreams,
like borrowed clothes,
never fit us.
Our grandfathers
don’t bear tales
our mothers
forgot the bread
over the coals
they forgot all the water jars
by the stream
and wandered away with eagles.
Our fathers,
were the wolves
that ate our flock
they were the others
who raided us
our fathers
were always the others
and our backs
were always exposed.
And I,
was the flute
that lost its moan
and I was the river that cried
and served to the others
its bitterness
and that is why
our mothers
lost their jars
when they drank me
and wandered away.
I was the lighthouses
that guided the old fishing boats
to other piers
I was the lighthouses
that gave them exiles
and that is why
our fathers
lost the way to the city
and wandered away
and the people of the city wandered away.
I was the prophet
who lost his exegesis
and I was the singer
who released his voice,
as doves in the wind,
and borrowed
the voices of others.
And I was the poet of the people
who defamed his people
and went on to live
on the crumbs of others.
And I was,
the poet
who forgot his revelation
forgot the rhythm of his poem
and went on writing
to the rhythms of others.

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