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Two soldiers
Let's celebrate
Let us run to that hill
Let us climb up the remains of that tank and sing
Let us drink tea under this burned tree
Smoke our last cigarettes
It is not every day that the war can make dead bodies and we are not with them
I'm crying
Not because you squeezed my heart and threw it like a sponge into desert,
Yes, I'm crying but not because you did not smile at me
but your teeth look whiter than white when you saw a woman's shadow pass you,
Yes, I'm crying but not because you are completely healed and no longer need my whisper to sleep,
Not because you dedicated all the poems you wrote to me
To another woman and she stupidly believed you,
I'm crying but not because I threw my pillow and I will be Watchful all my life without you,
Yes, I'm crying deeply
because the Ice cream has melted before I got home and I didn't enjoy eating it.
When I drink tea in New Jersey
  Like a girl who writes poetry about a boy she has never seen My day sits with all this disappointment
  Counting her fleeting moments
I remember my mother using the smell of onions
To shed her tears in the kitchen
For the absence of my father
Who climbed his life war by war
  Whenever he wore his military belt
  He wished that war was just an old shoe
He could take it off whenever he liked
And he didn't need to think of fixing it at the cobbler's shop
I remember my brother
Who asked in his letters--
When will the war understand that we are not good at dealing with death?  I remember us forty years ago
  We were kids, very much kids
With colorful clothes and hearts
  It was enough for us to see a balloon
To drown in big laughter    I remember all this now  When I drink my tea
  And
I practice my loneliness.
Oh, Faleeha
How brilliant is your future
I whisper in my ear
And pat my shoulder
Every morning
I open my day with a big lie
I tell myself
Faleeha
leave the news to the promoters of rumors
And the houses being bombed by skilled pilots
They will be rebuilt immediately afterward
Leave Iraqi women to be sold in the Sbaya Bazaar in Mosul
Mothers will give birth to other daughters nine months later
Don’t worry about the man who sells his life for a handful of coins under the sweltering sun
One day he will be able to get a Chinese umbrella  
Don’t worry about your niece whose face now being eaten by skin cancer
She will get through Photoshop a wonderful picture for her profile on Facebook  
Why do you look so long at picture of your friend who is missing from Kuwait war?
He is lucky
He survived the darkness of grave
Oh, Faleeha
Leave the children of Baghdad to wake up to violent explosions
Music is no longer fit for their mornings
Write down the martyrs names on a piece of a paper and place it in your old coat and leave it in the closet
Or send it to the dry cleaners
I’m tired of counting the names of the martyrs and the war never ends
Faleeha
Don’t plan for the future
It is as a close as   a ******’s bullet
Yes,
I open my day with a big
Big
Big lie
But no lie can cover the scary truth
Oh, my god
This poem!
Whenever I try to make her stand on the reality line
She flutters like Marilyn Monroe’s dress in the imaginations of men
I tell her to keep herself on one meaning
But she defies me
While wearing the interpretation mask
And when she tries to describe the battlefield
She is looking for the effects of kisses
On the collars of the soldiers who are tied down in their trenches
With fear and hopelessness
But if they were to be blown up
And their bodies were every where
Her words would be meaningless
For she hiding behind symbolism
She can’t sense the children’s horror from the bombs
And their attempts to huddle against the remnants of destroyed walls
Her cheeks do not hurt
Like mothers’ cheeks dried of their hot tears poured while waiting for deferred letters from their absent sons
She does not take the risk of thinking
So, she can’t believe any truth
She does not pay attention to my damaged life
Which has been crushed by the harsh machine of days
She is trying to make her words beautiful
So, she sprinkles rose water on an erupting volcano
She is too comfortable with death and even praises him
She is summarizing all this loss, darkness, combustion, destruction, chemical weapons. black banners, coffins, skinning , deprivation, orphanages, curfews, warning, sirens, barbed wire, tanks, thrumming of planes, explosions. ******. blood shed on the side walk, death, ashes, displacement, emptiness, charred bodies, mass graves, coffins, body traps, yelling, sadness, anger, hunger, thirst, vigilance, slapping …. etc.
She summarizes all of this in one ward
War
While I am, the poet stand in the middle
Watching my body jump from death to death
For nothing
Just to let the poem come
But after all this trouble
She only comes imperfectly
After forty years of snow
Do you remember the watch you gave to me wrapped in a poem?
It is still bound to my soul's meaning
The more time passes
The more the letters jump into my heart artery
My heart is now pumping flirtation
How many times I have wished
That if my city were not surrounded by graves
Then like a little girl  
I would wait for you in a secret garden
Come on!
Take off this thick absence
As thick as a New Jersey coat in the winter time
Melt off the snow that has stacked on the lines of your messages
Mow the grass that has grown on your tongue
Don’t save a sea of tears for me
I am not a mermaid
Make yourself present with words
Woo me
Let me stop demanding my rights
And thrive by the touch of your fingers as they play with my hair
Let me fool myself again
And see you as center of my universe
When I try to write
I sense that millions of readers are
Crowding the paper’s edge,
Kneeling, genuflecting, and lifting their hands
To pray for my poem’s safe arrival.
The moment it looms on my imagination’s horizon,
Gazing at the concept in a diaphanous gown of metaphor,
Young people smack their lips—craving double entendres.
Meanwhile, with piercing glances, the elderly scrutinize
Its juxtapositions and puns.
Then the concept smiles shyly, dazed at seeing them.
On the paper’s lines both young and old meet for a discussion,
But my words resist
And ***** walls of critical theories.
Then the paths of personal confession contract,
Contract,
Contract.
My imagination calmly shuts down,
And the conception retreats inside my head.
At that hour, it afflicts my world with
Bouts of destruction.  
Workers refuse their paychecks.
Farmer let their fields go fallow.
Women stop chatting.
Pregnant mothers refuse to deliver their babies.
Children collect their holiday presents but
Toss them on the interstate.
Our rulers detest their positions.
Kings sell their crowns at yard sales.
Geography teachers rend their world map
And throw it in the waste basket.
Grammar teachers hide vowel marks in the drop ceiling
And break caesura by striking the blackboard.
Flour sacks split themselves open, and the flour mixes with dirt.
Birds smash their wings and stop flying.
Mice swarm into the mouths of hungry cats.
Currency sells itself at public auctions.
The streets carry off their asphalt under their arms
And flee to the nearest desert.
Time forgets to strike the hour.
The sea becomes furious at the wave
And leaves the fish stuck headfirst in the mud.
The shivering moon hides its body in the night’s cloak.
Rainstorms congeal in the womb of the clouds.
The July sun hides in holes in the ozone layer,
Allowing ice to form on its beard and scalp.
Skyscrapers beat their heads against the walls,
Terrified by the calamity.
Cities dwindle in size till they enter the needle’s eye.
Mountains tumble against each other.
My room squeezes in upon me, and
The ceiling conspires against me with
The walls,
The chair,
The table,
The fan,
The floor,
Glass in the frame,
The windows,
Its curtains,
My clothes, and
My breaths.
The world’s clarity is roiled.
Atomic units change.
I vanish into seclusion,
Trailing behind me tattered moans and
Allowing my pen to slay itself on the white paper.
Translated by William M. Hutchins
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