Fado, I’ll sleep like people do
when shells are falling
and the sky is torn like living flesh
I’ll dream, then, like people do
when shells are falling:
I’ll dream of betrayals
I’ll wake at noon and ask the radio
the questions people ask of it:
Is the shelling over?
How many were killed?
But my tragedy, Fado,
is that there are two types of people:
those who cast their suffering and sins
into the streets so they can sleep
and those who collect the people’s suffering and sins
mold them into crosses, and parade them
through the streets of Babylon and Gaza and Beirut
all the while crying
Are there any more to come?Are there any more to come?
Two years ago I walked through the streets
of Dahieh, in southern Beirut
and dragged a cross
as large as the wrecked buildings
But who today will lift a cross
from the back of a weary man in Jerusalem?
The earth is three nails
and mercy a hammer:
Strike with the planes
Are there any more to come?
Najwan Darwish (Palestine, 1978) from Nothing More to Lose,
translated from the Arabic by Kareem James Abu-Zeid