Joumana Haddad

1970 / Lebanon

Don'T Let It Linger

I will be strewn on your bed
like fingerprints of fire.
I will be implanted in your night
and my day will spill out from your jar.
I will know your rooms by heart, word for word,
your verses line by line.
I will run and run in front of you
I will run and run in front of you
and I will catch the wind's hand and pull it along.

My mouth will slide from your forehead to your neck
from your neck to that most significant crux.
I will unload my dreams on your shoulders
and you will let me wander.
Come along.

The earth is collapsing on me,
but I will not flee into myself.
Lust wants to taste me,
but I will not guide it to my home.
My dress is devouring me.
I will not expel it alone.
Come along.

You barge into my head
and I veil myself with fantasy and chase you.
Come, I won't call out to you again.
Come, cling to me
and don't waste my dizzy madness.
Beware not to let my fragrance linger.
Don't let it remain behind
once I am gone!

Translated by Khaled Mattawa
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