From the Editors
Oct 20 2010
The glass of the subway windows
Shapes escape across it,
as if from a demon,
and are sorted out behind us as “bygones.”
The shrieking of the wheels on the rail.
The appearance of the next station,
at the bend of a tunnel
full of wailing.
A few vagabonds on the platform
gulping alcohol from bottles hidden in paper bags.
It is the same void rising
from night’s end in any city
overstuffed with the living and the dead:
Paris, Berlin, London, New York.
The end of the west.
The end of the line.
The end rail.
A Pouch of Dirt
the woman from whose thin neck
dangles what initially appears
to be a necklace,
but is nothing but a black leather pouch.
a handful of the homeland’s dirt.
She sat on a stone bench,
at the Hashimiyya Square,
with thousands of others,
waiting for a visa,
to any country.
she crossed the border,
that she might never see it
again in this world.
she will carry it,
like a yoke,
wherever she ends
Wherever she ends
up, she will carry
this black pouch
From Azma ukhra li-kalb al-qabila (Beirut/Baghdad: Dar al-Jamal, 2008)
Tr. Sinan Antoon
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