Mohammed Bennis

1948 / Fez

Seven Birds

A white Bird
A breath condenses
Even density can be pleasant
Each wall widens its cracks
And retains the call
A height that remains a height
Springs that have gathered the winds of the fields

A Red Bird
It may have travelled the river in one night
The road may have guided it through the upper layers
I ponder the mystery of its redness
Then forget the sky
That has taken it
There

A Green Bird

There are sleeping feathers before me
Feathers that blast me with the fire of distance
And feathers without a body that bend
And collect
In a point
Between us speech is fluttering

A Blue Bird

So drunk in the evening it's almost unable to return
It would prefer that departure go on
Without departure
Reflections
Of light in the pool
Grow longer

A Black Bird
Each thing wants to emulate it
Water in the pots
Words on their birthdays
Caravans across borders
A girl not yet wet with dew

But the thrush
Emulates only
Itself
It stays on branches of joy
A Yellow Bird
That window remains open for it
as they sit face to face and
the bird stays because of
an approaching silence until
without even pecking the grains it
soars just as its past did just as
its future will at dawn
A Colorless Bird
Elated it chirps on one of the nights of solitude
Before it flies
Where light unites with vibration
A draft that startles
Its visitor with a wing whose recurrent glitter
Is ever-changing and I can see it from a distance
It flies
So that what I see
Is this thing that resembles nothing distant

Translated by Fady Joudah
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