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The orchard, which I saw for the first time and began to cry instantaneously,
Because I needed the patience of clouds to decipher it,
Is my mother's face.
The light that shone in that distant lifetime,
And from which flowed a river of honey that I didn’t drink of,
Because the openings between my soft fingertips betrayed me,
Is my mother's face.
The fog which was the face of God
And dispersed in all directions
All over language,
Is my mother's face.
I don’t toy with language in the circus of the dead
while an open text claims
Do not at all tempt me,
It suffices to look at the dark halos under my eyes
To simply know the price I paid
To learn magic and alchemy,
And the magnitude of windmills that I fought by proxy
For my mother’s face
To shine on my nights,
And bloom with flowers that strip me naked
When rain is
Unusually late.
Poetry that I write with desperate selfishness,
Can’t cope with the crazy demands of that dog of mine,
My mother's face wouldn’t appreciate a trickster like it
which makes the commonplaceness of the color blue attractive to people,
But would rather appreciate a child as desperate as the ink of Abu Ala
And an overwhelming song swaying aboveboard
with palm leaves:
My mother is a descendent of the tribe of rivers
Served as water at the last supper,
Meanwhile the genealogy of her overcast face
Reaches back and forward to the great flood
At the end of times.
© Translation: 2018, Norddine Zouitni
First published on Poetry International, 2018