Saadi Youssef

Country: Iraq
Language(s): Arabic

Snow May Fall

The room
is fortified with wood blinds and glass,
and the lights
are off. 
The pillows are quiet in their corners
and the paintings—
blue sky and yellow sand—
call forth all their intentions,
wishing away what I expect.
There are trees across from the window
(the trees are always there). 
Like a clever cat, the air sneaks in
under the door
to befriend me. 
No wind whispers in the branches.
No bird flutters under a white sky.
No sound except music
coming from another earth.
But away from us
snow is filling its basket.
And surprisingly,
or on this night
snow will fall. 
     Amman, 12/22/1992


The girl who works in the warehouse
leaves her second-floor room.
She switches on the staircase light,
her face agitated in the glow,
and hesitates a little
before the street subsumes her world.
Inevitably, she will go to the café this morning,
cradling her first cup in her coat.
It’s cold on the street now
and this café she loves is warming up.
How she dreams of staying longer!
To sit at a corner table
and read
or listen
to music
And who knows,
maybe all of a sudden
love will come!

     Paris, 12/18/1990


A blind man
roams God’s twenty one villages
wearing his blindness like a treasure.
He strikes out in loss, and in loss his staff leads him.
Sometimes he fancies that the earth is his friend’
wherever his feet end up
he is the drinker and the watering hole.
He inquires into things about which he is never asked.
He is the first,
an indigent, a recluse,
and he is eternity.

But God’s twenty one villages
are unjust…
Someone may bury him alive in a well and conceal it.
Someone may choke him in a resting place.
Or wolves may claw him away from the women of the brothel.
So now he must steady his steps
and race with dangers
to pass through terror…

     Damascus 12/9/1992