Happiness

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 55th birthday.

11-30 Mersal
Iman Mersal
Egyptian
b. 1966

 

I believe the stretcher
whisked by two
as the patient’s coma is interrupted on it.
I doubt the sympathy in the eyes that follow the scene.

I respect the fisherman
because he is the only one who understands the fish.
Then I peel its scales spitefully.

I have no patience to contemplate the sea
while my fingers are stained with the palette’s colors.

At the moment of waking
my spirit is dark.

I do not remember any of last night’s dreams except
the urge for an objective history
of pleasure’s link to pain
darkness to terror,
terror to waking from sleep
to face a dark spirit.

Happiness therefore
lies in steam shovels which alone are worthy of love.
Their tongues precede them
as they neutrally overturn the memory of the earth.

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