Ghassan Zaqtan

1954 / Beit Jala / Palestine

The Trench

How strange are the days of salt
It is as if they belong to others
And like a well-plotted tragedy
Just brought to a close
They begin to breathe as we remember them

The hills forgotten in the boredom of the slopes
The mountains that aspire towards the west
The wandering caravans of death
The faith of the dead, complete.

The hands that emerge from the darkness
To tell you everything
The deep fraternity that does not lead to wisdom
The words no longer suitable for high places

ٍStrange are the days of salt
Now alone in the abyss
Disparaged like rotten seed

And while we ascend,
Because that's all we can do
The days roll away into the distance behind us,
Abandoned, and can never return

Our dark complexions
Our attempts at sleep
…..Names, endlessly long titles
Dialects also
Proclaiming a countryside
No longer necessary.

How strange are the days of salt
They are not even worthy to be remembered.
168 Total read