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Graphic Literature

Letter to the Mother

By Mazen Kerbaj
Translated from French by Mazen Kerbaj & Ahmad Gharbieh

" Mother died today "

So many times I wished I had written these words To never see you or hear you again
Abandoned at birth
I never ceased looking for you

My greatest torture was finding you
Recognizing you

Walking by your side
Walking behind you

Before you
And in you
Thirty - five years Thirty - five years
I spent seeking you finding you avoiding you
Ever since that damned day when you spat me out
You haven't stopped hiding

Yet you are everywhere at all times
Ever present behind and around

Ever facing :
The Mediterranean

This Mediterranean that I crossed many times
Testing our umbilical cord to the point of breaking
And here I am once more
Like metal filings at the mercy of a magnet

Drafting these lines under your watchful eye
The rare times when you seemed to hear my whining
Your answer was always : " It was the war "

This war that explains all
From my doubts to your wanderings and your amnesia

All the way to contemporary art !

Because of you I fancied killing a hundred times
I regret not doing it with every break of day
For all things practical I prayed as a child
I asked baby Jesus for protection

To keep us safe
Both and from each other

Today not Jesus nor Mary and Joseph not even Allah or his Prophet - albeit almighty Listen any more
You are old and ugly
Your bones crushed under the weight of your wrinkles

Yet you grow young tenaciously
Under scalpels and petrodollars

Time outlasts us mortals
While You remain here unblinking and in flux

Waiting with the impatience of a suckling
To bury us all
And march on our corpses
With concrete shoes

You infanticidal monster
Whose children will never follow the hearse

Despite it all I sometimes think I love you
Despite it all I love you I do I love you despite it all
I love you as one would love his wife his daughter his friend his sister
I love you as one would love his own mother

Person from the city in shadow: AND I HATe You More THAN SATAN HATES GOD , YOU WHORE OF A CITY !

MAZen - Beit 2010

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