Two people dangling their feet over the edge of the world

ALAA HASANIN – Translated by: Ibrahim Al-Sharif

To Rita Graham
And at last
here we are
on the edge of the world
sitting and watching
dangling our feet,
because of how much we walked barefoot
on the roads
and used them to sweep
the pains of the whole country.
At last
here we are
sitting silently
like two dear friends
who already said all that should be said
or didn’t say anything
because they already know
everything the other one wants to say.
Here we are watching the end of the world
with the tranquillity
of someone watching the sunset
and smiling
because the sun
will rise again
the next day.
Here we are like two children tired from playing
two soldiers exhausted by war
two old lovers
who have reached the other side of life
and there is nothing more for them to fight for.
Here we are at last
sitting by each other
with our hearts filled with thorns
that remain, the traces of the roses
we were going to plant
lovingly in each other’s hearts
to patch up what was done by the bullets
of which we were never the targets
but which would always pass through us to reach their targets.
Here we are,the ones who have always lived
like sand bangs
between two fighting fractions,
and when bullets would penetrate our hearts
none of the two fractions
would cry over us.
Here we are, the ones who have always cried
on behalf
of all those who were supposed
to cry over us
and write long poems,
unfit for publishing,
lamenting us,
because they were their first attempts
at writing poetry
or because our sorrow,
that we left,
would only rest
when someone,
who has nothing to do with poetry,
wrote poetry for us.
Here we are, the ones who have cried over ourselves for so long
because, sadly,
this war has left no one
to cry over us.
We, the ones who have spent their lives
crying for everyone
lamenting everyone
and writing poems of elegies
which we would read at burials
so that everyone’s souls would be healed
while ours crumbled.
Here we are at last
sitting over the edge of the world
holding hands
with the joy of a boy and girl
who had just kissed each other
for the first time,
telling ourselves:
so that’s how
endings are,
here, at last, is the end.


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