I believe the stretcher
whisked by two
as the patient’s coma is interrupted on it.
I doubt the sympathy in the eyes that follow the scene.
I respect the fisherman
because he is the only one who understands the fish.
Then I peel its scales spitefully.
I have no patience to contemplate the sea
while my fingers are stained with the palette’s colors.
At the moment of waking
my spirit is dark.
I do not remember any of last night’s dreams except
the urge for an objective history
of pleasure’s link to pain
darkness to terror,
terror to waking from sleep
to face a dark spirit.
lies in steam shovels which alone are worthy of love.
Their tongues precede them
as they neutrally overturn the memory of the earth.
© Iman Mersal. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2006 by Khaled Mattawa. All rights reserved.