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To My Father

To My Father

And my mouth is a stone of the roads
I have stretched out my body to my womb-mates
Balled up over my oud
My sobs a burning wind
And an everlasting torture-iron
Father: how much desire is mine?
How many deaths will take me to you?
How many ramparts will I raise in my body?
I am the distant one
And I am the present one, the quake-father
From the fronds of palms have they drawn my fecundity


O earthquake approaching, rising from my roots
I, and your mother and the wind are a door made heavy with song
a door made heavy with song
In my veins the ship of torment mutinies
It is the hour of silence
With your permission, father, I am
becoming a tree
Or a guitar
I go down to the city loaded with your vision
On the roads, I seek shade in your shadow
The whinnying of horses would encircle the house, if you wished it
It is, after all, the hour of the ode
A tree branches out beneath my feet
A city paints its fingers over me
Behind her gates, death is choking
How many reverberations of an Oud string shall I be?
I have strung my eyebrows over the fingerboard of despair
And a lifetime's worth of birds has fled from me
Father, the carnage of me is a reproach
I am the prelude and the aftermath
I am nostalgia, grappling with despair
Eyes which the light torments
A sick one who cuts off joy
At the brink of hesitation
And I have, other than Aleppo
None but poetry
And the churning of language
Nothing but my exile
My face announces me to my absence
The appointments are mine to keep
Whatever there may be: tidings, tiding over, typing over
It all inclines towards me
Like the needle sewing my winding sheet
I have stretched it all each day across my oudů and slept

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To My Father

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