the concrete pillars are not lacking in delicacy,
and the columns of old houses are a nostalgia all their own.
He added that he marks the weak point
and distributes its weight among the relatively stronger ones,
and that the beams and supports are made only by love,
then are tenderly fixed against the tilt in the poles.
He also assured me that restoration is a purely sexual matter.
My schoolmate who became an engineer at the Department of Antiquities
panicked for a moment
because I still have a school girl’s hands.
Then he told me, as he walked in the other direction,
that because of me he did not specialize in
© Iman Mersal. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2006 by Khaled Mattawa. All rights reserved.