Nizar Qabbani

your body is my map

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raise me more love… raise me

my prettiest fits of madness

O’ dagger’s journey… in my flesh

and knife’s plunge…

sink me further my lady…

the sea calls me

add to me more death …

perhaps as death slays me… I’m revived

your body is my map…

the world's map no longer concerns me…

I am the oldest capital of sadness…

and my wound a Pharaonic engraving

my pain…. extends like an oil patch

from Beirut… to China…

my pain… a caravan…dispatched

by the Caliphs of "A’Chaam"… to China…

in the seventh century of the "Birth"…

and lost in a dragon’s mouth…

bird of my heart… "naysani"

O’ sand of the sea, and forests of olives

O’ taste of snow, and taste of fire…

my heathen flavor, and insight

I feel scared of the unknown… shelter me

I feel scared of the darkness… embrace me

I feel cold… cover me up

tell me children stories…

rest beside me…

Chant to me…

since from the start of creation

I’ve been searching for a homeland to my forehead…

for a woman’s hair…

that writes me on the walls… then erases me…

for a woman’s love… to take me

to the borders of the sun… and throws me…

from a woman’s lip… as she makes me

like dust of powdered gold…

shine of my life. my fan

my lantern. declaration of my orchards

stretch me a bridge with the scent of oranges…

and place me like an ivory comb…

in the darkness of your hair… then forget me

I am a drop of water… ambivalent

remaining in the notebook of October

your love crushes me…

like a mad horse from the Caucasus throwing me under its hoofs…

and gargles with the water of my eyes…

add to me more fury… add to me

O’ prettiest fits of my madness

for your sake I set free my women

and effaced my birth certificate

and cut all my arteries…

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