Nathalie Handal

1969 / French / Palestinian / American


He might return and if he appears blue I might
allow him on top and if he returns with the sun
I will let summer multiply on my body
and if he returns for the phrases in Gallego
I will make him say them in Arabic

What we like most is what doesn't belong to us
like the field of stars and the Holy Door
like the coins lost on rooftops and the letters in Celtic
like the seascapes the wide rivers wild coastlines

If he returns I will write: Distance dreamed time
into lovers not into houses but a cosmos

Didn't I ever tell him he is most beautiful
when the arcaded stone streets inside him are wet
when I see him below Christ's feet and below him
Hercules, holding open the mouth of two lions?
I draw his body on the carpet
to stain what history gave to him

What can postpone departure beside two lips
too much of the wrong heart on the wrong road?
Hurry Rúa da Raiña into glory light into lush whispers
hurry the Atlantic into harmony the chaos into blaze
hurry the fisherman into piers the verse into our bedroom
then ask me to undress the rain
to go by the chimney barefoot
to caress my breast and count in your language
Santiago, let your lips draw the borders around mine
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