In Jerusalem By Mahmoud Darwish

In Jerusalem
 

In Jerusalem, and I mean within the ancient walls,

I walk from one epoch to another without a memory

to guide me. The prophets over there are sharing

the history of the holy ... ascending to heaven

and returning less discouraged and melancholy, because love

and peace are holy and are coming to town.

I was walking down a slope and thinking to myself: How

do the narrators disagree over what light said about a stone?

Is it from a dimly lit stone that wars flare up?

I walk in my sleep. I stare in my sleep. I see

no one behind me. I see no one ahead of me.

All this light is for me. I walk. I become lighter. I fly

then I become another. Transfigured. Words

sprout like grass from Isaiah’s messenger

mouth: “If you don’t believe you won’t be safe.”

I walk as if I were another. And my wound a white

biblical rose. And my hands like two doves

on the cross hovering and carrying the earth.

I don’t walk, I fly, I become another,

transfigured. No place and no time. So who am I?

I am no I in ascension’s presence. But I

think to myself: Alone, the prophet Muhammad

spoke classical Arabic. “And then what?”

Then what? A woman soldier shouted:

Is that you again? Didn’t I kill you?

I said: You killed me ... and I forgot, like you, to die.

 

By Mahmoud Darwish

Mahmoud Darwish 1964-2008

Born March 13, 1941
al-Birwa, British Mandate of Palestine
Died August 9, 2008 (aged 67)
Houston, Texas, United States
Occupation Poet and writer
Nationality Palestinian