Two African Breasts – Nizar Qabbani

Let me find time 

to welcome in this love 

that comes unbid. 

Let me find time 

to memorize 

this face that rises 

out of the trees 

of forgetfulness. 

Give me the time 

to escape this love 

that stops my blood. 

Let me find time 

to recognize your name, 

my name, 

and the place 

where I was born. 

Let me find time 

to know where I shall die 

and how I will revive, as 

a bird inside your eyes. 

Let me find time 

to study the state of winds 

and waves, to learn the maps 

of bays. . . 
Woman, who lodges 

inside the future 

pepper and pomegranate-seeds, 

give me a country 

to make me forget all countries, 

and give me time 

to avoid this Andalusian face, 

this Andalusian voice, 

this Andalusian death 

coming from all directions. 

Let me find time to prophesy 

the coming of the flood. 
Woman, who was inscribed 

in books of magic, 

before you came 

the world was prose. 

Now poetry is born. 

Give me the time to catch 

the colt that runs toward me, 

your breast. 

The dot over a line. 

A bedouin breast, sweet 

as cardamom seeds 

as coffee brewing over embers, 

its form ancient as Damascene brass 

as Egyptian temples. 
Let me find luck 

to pick the fish that swim 

under the waters. 
Your feet on the carpet 

are the shape and stance 

of poetry. 
Let me find the luck 

to know the dividing line 

between the certainty 

of love and heresy. 

Give me the opportunity 

to be convinced I have seen 

the star, and have been spoken to 

by saints. 
Woman, whose thighs are like 

the desert palm where golden 

dates fall from, 

your breasts speak seven tongues 

and I was made to listen 

to them all. 

Give me the chance 

to avoid this storm, 

this sweeping love, 

this wintry air, and to be convinced, 

to blaspheme, and to enter 

the flesh of things. 

Give me the chance 

to be the one 

to walk on water.

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