Patches of Color

Salman Masalha


On the wall that leans inward,
which I built of words that pecked
my path, I have drawn neither windows nor
door. And all this, for fear that undesirable
air will infiltrate my home. And I
am not as young as I was. But I hung
in their stead frames I had saved
from the days of my childhood. And I painted
in green the hands of a woman disguised
in mountain black. A white cloud,
with no storm in its wings, landed beside her
and played with the tail of a bird embroidered
on a floral scarf. The nurse who cares
for the old man feathers the nest in the faded
blue, and when the sun ignites flames
in my fragile dream plumes,
windows gape in the ceiling.
And a bird that was brooding
in my disputing heart flies
to the center of the sky
and lands at the opening
of the pit that is mined.

Translated by Vivian Eden


published in Haaretz, English Edition.

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