previous | next
 
 
 

I CAME FROM THERE
in commemoration of Joesoef al-Haidari
The end of the year
        A year of endings
The weather, crows, tightness of the chest
Because of heavy smoking. An ailment
(Loneliness
           Unrest
                       A hidden pain)
Made me wander in desolate parts of the town
Before nightfall
I came round the corner
Where my friend,
The storyteller,
Met me face to face
Something had taken the light from his eyes
My witty, old friend
He, himself
Something had twisted his features
From inside: his white eyebrows
The black teeth
His (not for fun) smile looked grief-stricken
Crying
An undeveloped picture
A burnt picture
Going to pieces at the slightest breath
We met emerging from the gale
That started yesterday
Pounded signboards of bars and restaurants
Made telegraph wires
Wail in empty places
I shouted: Yousef
What happened to your face, Yousef?
What did they do to your eyes, Yousef?
He said: Please, don’t ask
He said: It was devastating
He said: I came from there
He said: Not me. I am not myself
Not yourself
No, you are not yourself
They and the Gods of Hell
They and the Angel of Death in the door opening
Refugees on the roads
Children in coffins
Women wailing in open spaces
Your family is alright
They greet you from the grave
Baghdad is an ear of grain covered with locusts
I came from there
It was devastating,
He said to me
He went away and disappeared
Everywhere.