Abbas Beydoun

1945 / lebanon / Sur


And I say goodbye to these stones
that have begun to ramble
and have blackened all at once,
those stones we skipped over as we ran.
We will not say the wind was also foolish
when it blew over them.
The sea will lick them;
this will always happen.
The sea licks them
and the air sniffs at them endlessly.

Rain falls without a care
on my life
which is always lit like a jail cell.
I leave it now,
where only a door remains to me.
I did not always live here.
I had my friends' homes.
Since that night
I stopped being the gardener of my life.
A wicked vine
grew among the grasses,
and no one weeded out the follies
whose roots have hardened.
I am no longer the gardener of my life.
I leave it for new tenants and friends
who earned it with their betrayals.

Rain falls too
and the earth is slick under its brush.
The stones are shiny with the saliva of the sea.
The day is smooth, bald
with the sleek laugh of the sea,
and I, sleepless on a hotel bed,
gaze with an empty smile at the sea.

Goodbye to the fort
they razed two generations ago.
They still wander about where it stood.
Goodbye to the asphalt,
my longer hair,
to the song I drank from a Russian novel,
to the radio that broadcast a life
that never came my way.
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