I won’t let her sleep


Another unfinished bookmark of Sana’a.  

I can not let her sleep.  I doodle her often and I wake up her inhabitants. I tell them that I’m worried because I’m starting to forget the little details.  The color of the main door, and the exact size of the key. I can’t remember what it smelled like in the hollow entrance.  They tell me that I have the luxury to forget so I keep sketching to never let that happen.

Poem 47 of The Book of Sana’a, by Yemeni poet Abdulaziz Al Maqaleh

The spirit of this city floats
On the water of years.
Do not wake her
Let her moan while her children drown.
Do not light her pale alleys,
For the streets are still wet
With the sweet blood of martyrs
Who died for their homeland,
And turned the pages of life too soon

Let her sleep to forget
Let her sleep to remember
do not scratch with words
The tomb she has erected
for her grief.
Above it moan corpses
Below it they are lost.

Translated from Arabic by Huda Fakhreddine and Jayson Iwen

1 thought on “I won’t let her sleep”

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