Poem – A Noun Sentence – Mahmoud Darwish

A noun sentence, no verb 

to it or in it: to the sea the scent of the bed 

after making love … a salty perfume 

or a sour one. A noun sentence: my wounded joy 

like the sunset at your strange windows. 

My flower green like the phoenix. My heart exceeding 

my need, hesitant between two doors: 

entry a joke, and exit 

a labyrinth. Where is my shadow—my guide amid 

the crowdedness on the road to judgment day? And I 

as an ancient stone of two dark colors in the city wall, 

chestnut and black, a protruding insensitivity 

toward my visitors and the interpretation of shadows. Wishing 

for the present tense a foothold for walking behind me 

or ahead of me, barefoot. Where 

is my second road to the staircase of expanse? Where 

is futility? Where is the road to the road? 

And where are we, the marching on the footpath of the present 

tense, where are we? Our talk a predicate 

and a subject before the sea, and the elusive foam 

of speech the dots on the letters, 

wishing for the present tense a foothold 

on the pavement …

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