The boy that I love
was made handsome by God;
fine as a jewel.
My people, where is he?
I'm looking intently,
eyes fumbling -
confused -
conjuring him everywhere.
My people, where is he?
Whilst others sleep,
I'm sick with not-sleeping,
each faint, muddled voice
makes me strain to hear.
Nothing will nourish -
I don't eat or drink.
My throat's dry,
my lips crack,
a gag's in my mouth.
How many times has rain drenched me?
Drops pummel my skin,
then the storm's deep boom;
floods approach -
their ferocity sweeps me away like a stem.
How many times must I climb the mountain?
Wrestle through jungle,
trek endless paths
or tumble down their steep slopes.
My soul doesn't stay stop,
it forces me on.
I heave myself onto the ledge for you.
How many times have the sticky trees,
the thorns, the acacia,
the bilcil's rough limbs
the shrubs, clingy weeds
the sog-sog dragged me away?
The venomous black snakes,
the pythons, coiled vipers,
the startled, slippery abeeso,
how many times have I stepped over them?
How many times must I outrun them?
I've wounded myself with love -
I've snapped bones, they leak marrow,
I'm flat on my back.
And this self-destruction, these difficulties
mean nothing, my dear.
Because of your love, Jamaal,
the male lion, maned,
creaking his fangs,
has caught a she-camel
and severed its artery.
With his jaw,
leaning forward,
he laps up the blood.
I keep near this creature.
It is my neighbour.
I'll stay here now, because of you.
The elephant with its tough hide
rears its trunk,
whips trees aside,
destroying the forest.
I don't mind this either.
I don't feel compassion.
I don't get gooseflesh.
Because of your love, Jamaal,
I stay with beasts now.
They are my neighbours.
I belong here, because of you.
All this hardship I endure,
all this wasteful pain,
it's because I love you.
My people, where is he?