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After Mahmoud Darwish's poem 'Ghaima min Sadum'

The eye and the heart.

In your night I sit alone with my freedom. Outside your grand cities and circle of friends I sit alone with my freedom. You shall not take me to the sea, we shall not reach a peace agreement, we shall not look for love among the oak trees, we shall not search for our names or retrace our steps.

You say forget about yesterday and think of now, tomorrow.

In the deep African night her onyx arms reach for me, the jungle extends far and wide, elephants trumpeting, the lake on the east and rivers running to the sea, familiar voices cascading around me, the smell of fresh bread and her and her again.

Your eyes do not see. Your heart is free.

All the colours of my soul are in the shirt she had made me.

But Joseph’s brothers threw him in  the well.

The soldiers set camp by the lake.

I am free now. A caravan, a chair, a table, a black and white television and few food cans.

I am free.  You often ask me, ‘what did you say your name is?’  And I sit with my safety and freedom gazing at the moon through the craven jagged window. I search through the leaves for shreds of Congo sky, for a boy forever riding a bicycle and for my mother’s amber necklace.

Beyond the last footpath you will find me spinning absence, spinning presence.
Subaltern,  silent
Stirring between exclamation marks and capital letters
Inscribed in white ink.

The warlord smiles

Your heart does not see. Your eyes are free.