Translated from Arabic by Fady Joudah
The intentions of those heading to her house
could be touched by fingers
chaste and proud.
Those who are late in the fields
will find her near small shrubs
and by the five grassy house steps
with the bougainvillea by the entrance.
Her bracelets that jingle in their sleep like a mysterious mare
her undergarments that color their dreams
her breasts that are well visited like the path to the mill
and her motion sketched from the sink to the bed
like a popular folk song.
The still life on the wall
the sheets and the two pillows
the cheap perfume
the nails behind the door,
where their clothes leave their odor,
and the jasmine outside the window.
Her astonishing bends
and her silence where her labor stones her.
The intentions of those heading to her house,
the passersby and the knockers,
the students, employees, chickens,
vehicles, guards, dogs, carriers,
cats, vegetable vendors,
fathers and sons, anyone
with a scent after her cracked sleep
behind the children
behind the carriage
and the coffin
pure on their way to intent.