The Wound


Leaves, asleep under wind:

a ship for the wound.

The wound

glories in these ruinous times.

Trees growing in our own eyelashes

a lake for the wound.

The wound shows up in bridges

as graves reach out

as patience wears thin on the opposite banks

between our love and our death.

And the wound, a beckoning gesture,

inflicts us as we cross.



Rain upon our desert

O world decked with dream and longing.

Rain down enough to shake us.

We are the wound’s palm trees.

From those trees captivated by the wound’s silence,

trees which nursed the wound

through its night,

among arches of eyelashes and arms bent with care

break off for us just two branches.


O world decked in dream and longing

O world that falls onto my forehead

etched like a wound,

keep your distance. The wound is closer than you.

Keep your seductive charms away. More beautiful than you

is the wound.

And the magic that reaches

from your eyes

to the last kingdoms

has only been the wound’s pathway.

The wound has passed over it,

stripped it of its deceptive sails

and left it without its island.

Bibliographical info

“The Wound.” Translated by Adnan Haydar and Michael Beard. From Mihyar of Demascus: His Songs. Translation copyright 2008 by Adnan Haydar and Michael Beard. Reprinted with permission of BOA Editions, Ltd.

Source: Tablet and Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East (W.W. Norton & Company, 2011)

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