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Poem by Abdulwahab Latinos

On Aug. 20, 2020, Sudanese poet Abdel Wahab Latinos drowned in the English Channel with an unknown number of African immigrants. Death and the desire to diminish were frequent themes in Abdel Wahab’s poetry, so much so that I thought he grieved poetry and life even when he was immersed in love, and maybe especially when he fell in love. Ultimately, in a momentary recall of Lorca’s loss, Abdel Wahab’s poems replaced their writer and became, rightfully so, the only voice of the poet who delicately cherished the details of his death in his texts, and thus became the strange passerby, for whom we know no other grave, other than the waters of strangers. I could not find a more evident way to look at the strange metaphor of the sea being the tomb of the poet than Frederick Jameson's conception of the national allegory as a destiny for the individuals, an everlasting nightmare. Najlaa Eltom

Credits Poem: Abdulwahab Latinos Translation: Najlaa Eltom March 03 2021


I wish I was born
in a different era
as they say.
I wish I was born
in the Pre-subway
pre-coal engines
pre-God Age
when secrets of prophethood
were buried
and unexcavated
they shall eternally stay.
I wish i was born
when a child was of great triviality,
like any random a thing
like any random a dog
or a cat
or a cog
or some item jotted in the mother’ list of belonings.
I wish I was born
in a different era
when weak flesh was strictly flesh
and the body, unsanctificated, was just as much.
I wish I was born in a cave
amidst the thickest jungle
a jungle for me to lay
a perfect brey
for these insects
suckling my blood.
From mud to mud.
I wish I could walk away
from life, pain, light
into a black hole
into night
and disappear.
I wish I scream
spit on the face of the whole damn thing
for All I wish for
is more
more more ferocity
more firmness for the grip of havoc
squeezing out our last breath.

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