We once woke in Paradise
and the angels surprised us
with their brooms and mops:
“You smell like alcohol and earth
your pockets are full
of poems and heresies…”

Servants of God, we said, go easy on us
We long for but a single morning in Haifa:
Our dreams led us here
by mistake

– Najwan Darwish. Paradise (I)

translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid

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