The Dream of Returning

By Buland al-Haydari

I dream of returning, oh my city,
to our house whose candles are extinguished.
I dream of returning
to light the candle
to open the window for the wind,
to leave the key behind the door
for thieves
for visitors
for promises.

I dream of returning, oh my city,
I dream of returning
for all the tears in your wounded heart
For your night abandoned in the alley
a black page,
like shame carried by the vagabond,
or the slave trader,
or the drunkard from one tavern to another, for a laugh at the bar
where hunger may enshroud
in its darkness its old worn out shoes
and the story of the crosses on the road.

I dream of returning, oh my city,
to search for my eyes between the covers of a book,
which I left…there…
at the door
for in its pages a reproof had bloomed:
“I hope he would return.”
I want to return
before her inquiry about a wanderer
dries up in promises,
in wind and fog.

I dream of returning, oh my city,
for all the tears in your wounded heart

This Poem Appeared in Al Jadid Vol. 3 issue 17, April 1997
Translated, from the Arabic, by Mohammed B. Alwan

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