translated, from the Arabic, by Munir Akash and Carolyn Forché
And we, too, have the right to love the last days of authumn and ask the grove:
Is there room now for a new autumn so we may lie down like coals?
Like gold, autumn brings its leaves to half-staff.
If only we never said goodbye to the fundamentals
and questioned our fathers when they fled at knife-point.
May poetry and God’s name have mercy on us!
We have the right to warm the nights of beautiful women, and talk about
what might shorted the night of two strangers waiting for North on the compass.
It’s autumn. We have the right to smell autumn’s fragrances
and ask the night for a dream.
Does the dream, like the dreamers themselves, sicken? Autumn. Autumn.
Can a people be born on a guillotine?
We have the right to die any way we wish.
May the earth hide itself away in a blade of wheat!