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Downtown

My share of sleep:
four hours eleven minutes.

I roll my pierced heart
across the bedcover:
it slams into the door,
leaving

a line of mud behind.
I believe
a tree

will come one night
and stop

beside the line.

Another tree

will follow,

and a third,

a fourth,
a ninth,
etc.

One night
the line will grow

and become a street.
One night
while I’m sleeping
friends will stream
out of my head

and into the street
to sleep beneath the trees.
And I,
one night,
will wake
from fear of solitude
and follow them.

© Mazen Maarouf. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2014 by Kareem James Abu-Zeid and Nathalie Handal. All rights reserved.