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He Was Not Asleep

ISSUE:  Summer 2008

There is a downtrodden woman in his dream,
an introverted woman whose mind is occupied
with simple thoughts and needless virtues.

A woman who enters his room every time he falls asleep,
and stares at his heart,
directly at his heart,
then takes a flower from the vase and leaves
before he wakes to count the missing flowers.

Every time he sleeps, he finds himself roaming, alone,
in infinite arcs
and roads with the colors of water,
clinging to the intimate smell of her departure
as if he were strolling in the memories of those missing flowers.

at half past five in the morning,
she was standing behind the window
and was staring into his eyes,
and he was not asleep.

—Translated by Zina Haj-Hasan and Amro Naddy


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