Mahmoud Darwish

13 March 1941 – 9 August 2008 / Palestinian

Intensive Care Unit

I whirl with the wind as the earth narrows before me.
I would fly off and rein in the wind,
but I am human.. I felt a million flutes tear at my breast.
Coated with ice I saw my grave carried on my palms.
I disintegrated over the bed. Threw up.
Lost consciousness for a while. Died.
Cried out before that short-lived death occurred:
I love you, shall I enter into death through your feet?
And I died.. I was completely extinguished.
How serene death is except for your weeping!
And how tranquil if it wasn't for your hands
pounding my breasts to have me return.
I loved you before and after death,
and between the two I saw only my mother's face.
It was the heart that strayed for a while,
and then returned. I ask my love:
In which heart was I struck?
She bent over me and covered my question with a tear.
O heart... heart, how is it you lied to me and disrupted my climax ?
We have plenty of time, heart ,
stabilize So that a hoopoe bird may fly
to you from the land of Balqis (Yemen).
We have sent letters.
We have crossed thirty seas and sixty coast lines
and still there is time in life for greater wanderings.
And O heart, how is it that you lied to a mare
that never tires of the winds. Hold on
so we can complete this final embrace and kneel
in worship. Hold on..hold on.
Let me find out if you are my heart or her voice crying: Take me.
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