translation from Arabic: Yousef Hanna, Palestine

The body is like a piece of scrap!

In medicine they teach you the anatomy of the
This calculating machine for vertebrae bone
and blood drops.
They teach you that this is nothing but a skull,
Not the head that holds half the world.
And that these streamlets of blood pours into a
pit called the heart.
And this heart is not that pointed shape with
Cupid’s arrow stuck in it.
No matter how you cut it during autopsy, you
won’t find the arrow.
And that the chest is intertwined with a bunch
of ribs.
Then you’ll understand why we stay locked up
in someone’s cage.
In anatomy class
They treat the body as a piece of scrap...
You turn it around in all directions.
Even if you grab it by the balls
No sound appears,
No hand pushes you away,
There’s no tongue that curses you...
Just squeeze them and ask:
How are these two balls
Making sperm swim inside the womb’s field!

In anatomy class,
Many things happen. Not surprisingly.
You only lose the sense of amazement when
you get used to the corpses,
Then you eat your meal over it without apolo-
Not even wiping leftovers from your mouth.
You eat your whole heart out with an absent
In anatomy class,
They teach you a complete autopsy without
They go far into the details
Even peeling fear from your eyes’ skin...
But they are helpless dissecting a rose,
Or peeling the perfume from your chest gar-

It may happen

It may happen that we disagree on the toilet
On the quality of toilet paper,
On the scent of soap,
On the flavor of the shampoo,
On naming a dish,
On skin color,
On the pillow shape,
On the width of the bed,
On the pen,
The pen that runs distances of erasure.
On the embrace of our bodies,
While each of us is so overwhelmed
In the well of our heart.
It may happen that my voice nightly entertains
My voice wet with eagerness,
Wild eagerness,
The fever continues to burn
In the bed of red panting.
It may happen that we meet
At the crossroads of lust
So, you precede me
And I predate you.
It may happen that our disputes persist
Again, and again,
In favor of a night that does not end
Unless we shed our skin.

But we both agree,
Very much agree
On writing a bad diary
Of the same the quality as our nights,
And our desires mewing.
We agree to a death rehearsal
At every encounter.
Till we have plenty space for ourselves
Tomb of love.
We agree to admit
In front of a moon,
In various positions of cosmic cohesion.
We agree to share the act of love
So equally;
Between our tongues
Is mine!
Is yours!
Then we agree,
Agree to break
The last key
Inside a lock
Of a door
That was separating us.

Onfwan Fouad is a poetess,
translator, story writer
and artist from Aures, Algeria.