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When a man is in love

When a man is in love

how can he use old words?

Should a woman

desiring her lover

lie down with

grammarians and linguists?

I said nothing

to the woman I loved

but gathered

love’s adjectives into a suitcase

and fled from all languages.

When I love

When I love

I feel that I am the king of time

I possess the earth and everything on it

and ride into the sun upon my horse.

When I love

I become liquid light

invisible to the eye

and the poems in my notebooks

become fields of mimosa and poppy.

When I love

the water gushes from my fingers

grass grows on my tongue

when I love

I become time outside all time.

When I love a woman

all the trees

run barefoot toward me…

My Angry Cat

You're repeating yourself

for the twentieth time.

Is there another man in my life?

Yes. Yes. What did you think?

Even graveyards have visitors.

There are, my dear sir,

a lot of men out there,

and no garden is ever devoid of birds.

You're just an experience I had,

and here I am,

tired and bored from this experience,

out from under your spell.

I'm cured of all

my weakness and gullibility.

Niceties do, after all, always end.

You love me!

There you go again,

dredging up all that ancient history.

And since when did you ever show

the slightest interest in me

outside the contour of my hips?

Where does this sudden gush of love come from?

I was never anything more

than a forsaken chair

among your expensive furniture,

a garden you chose to raze

without shame or repentance.

Why are you staring at my breasts

as if you owned them?

And why do you weep as if you

stood before a lost kingdom?

Your glorious kingdom, dear sir,

has just crumbled.

There. I've settled my score

in an instant.

You tell me now

who's losing the game.

I opened myself to you

like the Garden of Eden,

gave you all the sweet fruit

and green grass you desired.

Today I offer you

neither heaven nor hell.

This is what you get

for acting the ungrateful.

You faithless. If you'd only treated me

like a human being - just once -

this other man wouldn't exist.


Thank you.

Thank you.

For killing my Balqis(1).

Go, have a drink,

On the martyr’s grave’s brink.

My poem is assassinated.

For no nation but ours

Has such powers!



You’re a martyr, a poem;

Chaste and righteous.

Queen of Sheba people search to welcome

In return, go and hail them.

You, the greatest of all queens,

A woman who incarnates all Sumerian Ages.


Of all birds, you’re the delicious.

Of all icons, the most precious.

Dear as tears, over Magdalene’s face.

Have I done you injustice,

When, once, I moved you from Adhamiyah banks?

Everyday, Beirut kills one of us.

Everywhere, there is death,


We’re suffering to the bone.

The kids don’t know what’s going on.

I don’t know what to say, then?

Would you shortly knock at the door?

Would you take off your winter coat?

Would you come smiling,

And like field flowers shining?


Balqis …

How did you take away my days, and dreams.

And crossed off gardens and seasons?

Oh, my wife;

My love; my poem and my eyesight.

You were my beautiful bird.

How did you leave me without a word?


It’s time for perfumed, well stored Iraqi tea.

My giraffe, who will serve it gracefully?

Who moved Euphrates to our house?

Who moved Resafa and flowers of Tigris?



How could you leave us twisting in the wind,

Trembling as leaves?

You left-the three of us-lost,

As a feather under the rain.

Didn’t you think of me; your lover?

I need your love as much as Zeinab or Omar.



Where is the Guerlain bottle?

And the blue light?

Where is your Kent cigarette,

Which is ever in your lips?

Where is Al Hashmey singing

Over such a good stature?

When combs remember you,

Their tears flow.

Do they suffer

As if they missed a lover?

Balqis: it is difficult to stay cold-blooded,

While with tongues of flame

And smoke I am surrounded.

Balqis: My princess you are

Burning in a tribe-against- tribe war.

What shall I write about my queen’s assassination?

My poem is but frank self-expression.

Among piles of victims, we look for

A falling star,

A body shattered as a mirror.

We wonder, my love:

Is it yours or Arabism’s grave?

Oh, Balqis:

You’re as graceful as a willow tree,

Resting your hair locks on me.

You walk, as a giraffe, in dignity.


It’s the fate of Arabs

To be assassinated by Arabs,

To be gobbled by Arabs,

To be slain by Arabs,

To be exhumed by Arabs.

How can we evade such a fate?

For an Arab dagger it is all the same,

Killing a gentleman or a madam.