Hear the sound of rain, on hotel window, so stark it bleeds
Like waking, like Hitchcock? Blinds so low, it’s too dark to read.
Here, the train breaking haunts, further out, the frame, broke hours ago.
What are Effrit to make twin towers glow, too dark to read?
Disfigured, losing specific dimensions, failing
In their finitude, what world is mirrored, too dark to read?
As fire works, roaming compulsive, the mind makes interior,
What was your house, her tomb, charred terribly, too dark to read.
There your girl becomes pursuit, embers, a route more circuitous
Her elliptical and fraying parabola. Too dark to read
Such hyperbole of desire. Fire returns void, in its avoidance.
Brute motor repetition writes parables too dark to read.
– Trish Salah. Ghazals in Fugue, II
– Christopher Okigbo. excerpt from Lament of the Silent Sisters
– Ouidad Benmoussa. This Planet … Our Bed
translated by Emma Hayward
See how those cranes fly arcing through the sky!
The clouds they have for company on their way
Were there already when they had to fly
From one life to another far away.
Together at the selfsame height and pace
It seems an almost casual display.
That crane and cloud just chance to share the space
Of the wide skies through which they pass so briefly
So neither one may linger in this place
And all they see is one another slightly
Rocking on the wind in loose accord
Who now in flight lie side by side so lightly
The wind may carry them off into the void.
If they remain themselves, and hold on tight
They can be touched by nothing untoward
It doesn’t matter if they’re driven out
Threatened by gunshots or by stormy weather.
Indifferent to the sun and moon’s pale light
They journey on, besotted with each other.
What are you fleeing from?
You ask how long now have they been together?
—And when they’ll part?
—Oh, soon enough.
So love appears secure to those who love.
– Bertolt Brecht. Tercets on love—The lovers
translated by Tom Kuhn
– Ana Božičević. excerpt from Document, viii. Document
The breeze becalmed, the tranquil dog adoze,
both at rest, such is the mood
the still air not an atom moves
for fear its faintest murmur might disclose
an innocent but sacrilegious hum,
a profanation of the soothing calm.
– Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. excerpt from Primero Sueno
translated by Margaret Sayers Peden
– Anvar Ali. excerpt from A Yaksha in Aryavarta
translated by A.J. Thomas