Skip to main content
#10 2013
3 min read

Syria: To Imad since he plays the roll of the water

Credits Text: Tammam Hunaydi Translation from Swedish : Christina Cullhed October 24 2013

I sat next to God
Eating tomatoes that had not been washed
Drinking water that would not be filtered
So as not to be contaminated
I flirted with the girl crossing my path
Leaving her smile behind
I pursued my boredom
And refused to visit any cemeteries
I was dead and had many visitors
Despite sitting right next to Him

I sat next to God and looked down
Expelling some prophets
Tidying the place carefully
Waiting for the victims of the next massacre


Night begins

In the voices of the night there is something a woman
who has not yet experienced her first pleasure
would want to become one with her own desire
something that forces her to show several of her possessions on her beach
to rise or fall down from the height of her spasm
In her shudder lives the woman’s voice, the woman who
does not know that the water resembles the night.

Night begins

As his life is about to begin a young man walks towards his end inside a grenade.
One night

A young woman prepares for her groom
The groom is this young man

Night begins

The night in the city is more desolate than any other place. In the din is fear. The light fleeing inside itself is fearful. In the city fear reproduces. Fear is the footprint of humanity.

In the countryside the voices of the night are like the stories your grandmother would have told.
Insects, summer frogs, the barking of dogs, and empty streets make up the language of the universe
The human condition connects the night to the voices that the ear of darkness cannot get used to.
People are their fear.
The city is like a crowd. The city is like a great fear

Night begins
when he closes his eyes for good
—that martyr

Night begins
with the first kiss

Night begins
if you come out
alive from prison

Night begins
When a seed begins it … the night of the seed, when the earth envelops the seed

Night begins
When a poem loses contact with its innermost parts

Night begins
When light thickens

I bear inside me enough noise to shut me up
So many friends that I might feel lonely
Enough propriety to shame you all
Such a tempest that peace would screech within
So many women that I would only see their genitals
So much water that my veins might dry out
So much fire that I might feel even colder than you
So much of you that I could explode right out of myself
So much of myself that I could search for myself in pictures of you
I bear inside me much of everything
And am searching for some soil
Where my country’s worms can share me amongst themselves

Like what you read?

Take action for freedom of expression and donate to PEN/Opp. Our work depends upon funding and donors. Every contribution, big or small, is valuable for us.

Donate on Patreon
More ways to get involved