Our Old Bed

by Abdullah al Ryami

I wait for you in a bright shadow
lit by matches struck from the tree
under whose branches we said goodbye
When you arrive
fluids purl along my veins
the way clouds arise from the sea
And I stumble between your thighs
towards the cure
for this unstaunchable wound
Our bed is of sand
formed from ancient sediments
soft as a rumour
Together on this silk
desire fills our voices like flocking birds
like a new friendship filling the night
You and I are a late-night conversation
in a tavern by the sea
at the fount of the horizon
Nurtured by longing
we come to this shore
to teach the dawn new tricks
And we go to the forest
to gather wood from new trees
Stone gives birth to stone
and I will wait for you forever
knowing that nothing can stop the earth
rolling down the mountain of life.

The literal translation of this poem was made by Nariman Youssef, Anna Murison and Hafiz Kheir

The final translated version of the poem is by Sarah Maguire

Notes

Published first in The Guardian online.

Comments

  1. June 20th, 2008 at 11:37 am

    snono says:

    reading the English traslation first and then the original poem made me see how the translation is far better than the original poem.