Love Poem from the Arabic

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Love Poem from the Arabic

 

after Leonard Schwartz

 

On the patio, you and I

eat apricots from a jar.

It had been much simpler.

I dipped cotton in alcohol

and wrapped your wounds

in gauze. You pointed

at an albatross

spreading its wings.

We whispered the names

of the lost.

 

Take the mattress. Take the magazine.

Take the syrup in my coffee.

Take the white rook under the sofa,

the smell of your jasmine perfume.

I don’t have rings, so I offer you

an orange. We watch

juice dissolve the table’s lacquer,

lick sugar off each others’ wet fingers.

 

We both took. I took more.

You held lilac to my lips

and I swallowed

your petals. (Please. The stories

you told me about ghouls,

are they real?)

 

Over the telephone, my

words are garbled.

There is static, and in it

you feed me your language —

that ripe fruit

monsoon

lemon grove

wall.

 

I try to hold a light.

They try to hold your tongue.

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