In Jerusalem / Mahmoud Darwish

In Jerusalem, I mean within the old wall,
I walk from one era to another without a memory
guiding me. And the prophets there distribute
the history of the holy amongst themselves…They ascend to the heavens
and return with less frustration and sadness, for love
and peace are holy, and both come into the city.
I used to walk above a slope and ponder: how
could the narrators differ when speaking of light in a stone?
Is it that from a scarcely lit stone wars erupt?
I walk in my sleep. I stare while I dream. I do not
see a soul behind me. I do not see a soul in front of me.
All of this light is for me. I walk. I am light. I fly.
Then I transform into someone else. The words
grow like grass from the prophetic mouth of
Isaiah: “If your faith does not remain firm, then you will not remain secure.”
I walk as if I am someone other than myself. And my wound is an evangelical
white rose. And my hands are like two doves
on the cross, soaring and bearing the earth.
I do not walk, I fly, I transform into someone else. There is no place and no time. So who am I?
I am not myself in the moment of ascension. But I
think: on his own, the prophet Muhammad was
speaking in Classical Arabic. “And what next?”
What next? Suddenly a female soldier yelled:
It’s you again? Haven’t I killed you?
I said: you’ve killed me…and I, like you, have forgotten to die.


Translated by: Uri Horesh

Transference: Vol. 3: Iss. 1, Article 9.