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I Can Speak About Love

Mahmoud Darwish, translated from the Arabic by Fady Joudah

And I can speak about love, about trees on a road that leads

to others’ goals, and to the weather conditions in other countries. I offer the city

pigeons a fistful of wheat and listen to my neighbor’s noise dig under my skin

And I am capable of living to the month’s end. I give it my best

to write what convinces my heart to beat and my soul to live after me.

A gardenia can renew my life. A woman can determine my grave

And I can go to the end of my life as a couple: alone, and by myself.

I can only collude with words I haven’t yet said, to ransom my stay

on the edge of the earth, between the siege of space and the hell of falling

And with the strength of daring I will live, as it pleases my language for me to be