Rita And The Rifle – Mahmoud Darwish

Between Rita and my eyes 

There is a rifle 

And whoever knows Rita 

Kneels and prays 

To the divinity in those honey-colored eyes. 

And I kissed Rita 

When she was young 

And I remember how she approached 

And how my arm covered the loveliest of braids. 

And I remember Rita 

The way a sparrow remembers its stream 

Ah, Rita 

Between us there are a million sparrows and images 

And many a rendezvous 

Fired at by a rifle. 

Rita’s name was a feast in my mouth 

Rita’s body was a wedding in my blood 

And I was lost in Rita for two years 

And for two years she slept on my arm 

And we made promises 

Over the most beautiful of cups 

And we burned in the wine of our lips 

And we were born again 

Ah, Rita! 

What before this rifle could have turned my eyes from yours 

Except a nap or two or honey-colored clouds? 

Once upon a time 

Oh, the silence of dusk 

In the morning my moon migrated to a far place 

Towards those honey-colored eyes 

And the city swept away all the singers 

And Rita. 

Between Rita and my eyes— 

A rifle.