Iman Mersal | Things Allude Me

A Poem by Iman Mersal

 Things Elude

One day I will pass in front of the house
that was mine for years
and try not to measure how far it is from my friends’ homes.

The plump widow whose cries for love woke me
is no longer my neighbor.

I will invent things so not to get confused.
Count my steps,
or bite my lower lip delighting in the slight pain,
or keep my fingers busy with tearing a whole packet
of paper tissues.

I will not try short cuts
to avoid the pain.
I will not stop myself from loitering
as I train my teeth to chew on hate
that leaps from within.
And to forgive
the cold hands that pushed me toward it,
I will remember
that I did not smudge the bathroom’s whiteness
with my own darkness.

No doubt, things elude me.
The wall itself did not enter my dreams.
I did not imagine a color of paint
to match the scene’s tragic lighting.

This house was my home for years.
It wasn’t a student hostel
where I would leave an evening gown
on a nail behind the door
or paste old pictures with temporary glue.
The romantic sentences
I extracted from Love in the Time of Cholera
must be jumbled up now
making an altogether comic text.

Translated by: Khaled Mattawa

Fanciful Fables

All the answers to happiness
Are a lie!
A single kiss
Dying as if it were said.
Bluish stone loneliness
Reviews us with
Windchime chanting promises
Philosophy that puts us to sleep
Lullabies submitting us to slumber
And other things will die – the heart.
In a field overgrown
Colours bleed artistically
The trees growth
Is a prayer
Paper lonely poems drawing God’s
In damp breath’s
And I, watch the tree’s prayers
Survival dawning autumn hues
Bleeding jazz notes
That I tilt my mouth towards.
This is how I caress the earths survival
Remembering the memento
Cupping the hiatus in my hands
And carrying the remains
To the pilgrim heart.
How easy we are made homeless.
All the ways to death
Carefully pillaged truths!

Evening Soliloquy

I watch my contentment, painted on the cheek of sunset

Contemplating the last of his shadow imprint as it

Chases bird choruses westward, asking for wind

That only briefly touches his sonorous embrace.

I love the silence flung from his city shoulders

Crowning the space where tepid conversations

Traced the patterns of my mouth,

Mouth stained with the hum of red

And ardently falling on the applause of his eye.

Life is like poetry; loving isn’t about capturing the muse.

Some words, are so unnecessary.