Khaled Juma

My heart hides in a blue rose

A hand of seas and incense leans its elbows on my horizon, while
I carry two ravens like an unassailable and tyrannical history, I refuse my eyes
the sight of the fire filling the expanse flowing away over
the distant hills, distant as the idea of eternity, I form an acid
shadow to bequeath to my friends who have crossed life’s boundary
freed from the weight of their skin and from their capacity for
sadness, they have got a rhythm made of magic and from dimensions we do not know
we who are fleeting from what is near.

I try to dispel the drone of the city in my soul
I dismiss it like a troublesome fly, I rub it between my fingers, I gnash
at it with forgetfulness’ teeth and it hides itself like a grain among the sand
I am defeated before it like any lover and I leave it to single out my blood
like a doll that nothing can stop from living up to the expectations of a girl who has packed
the world into her little heart.

I am baffled by how a budding rose can beautify disaster
like an unassailable bride, I am baffled by my rising again from the dwindling of my corpse to nothing
every time in order to die and outline the resurrection like a mountain peak that
cannot be reached, I am baffled by the women when they sit in the vault
of memory measuring clothing with words on bodies that have forgotten
their femininity to give the country taste and smell, I am baffled by my bafflement
and the oranges.

I allot a little daytime in which to compose a girlfriend and a street
and a school at the end of the road and a daily walk which never ends
in which there is a nightingale who excels at changing the seasons when it bores of the weather as
persistent as our names, in which there is a stone on which we have carved letters
testing time and affection, in which there is a constant starting point
that we lag behind every time the sun weakens its resistance before
it sets, in which there are trees jealously guarding our little tykes
when they excavate their daffodil skin, in which there are windows for a quick
getaway when the voice of a mother rocks the sky as she searches for
her stray daughter.

My letters come a million years late in the medieval postal
system, I open their houses to let fall the wheat of words, I pick up
in turn what I want, looking for my name which is being watched
for the slaughter before the coolness of the paper betrays it and before the language
which I know changes, my char grilled expectance bores into me, so I drag along
a locomotive of old tales, closing my bereaved letter
and wait for the post.

In the days that are of hope
my heart hides in a blue rose
while a swallow watches over it from afar.

Or this is how the clouds spoke

Eyes of almonds left to the seasons, your eyes, they have the freedom
of morning’s birds filled with love and song, as for the hiding place
of the wound, lips are demanding cities of their creators and fire
lusts after a djinn inside you who is never still.

Rings of silver enclose the distant sight of the sea, while your feet
write the way on modest sand yielding to femininity wherever
the wind direction relents, a pair of swallows vie on a wave
that washed the scent of the distance from your hair that ever faces
difficult choices in its struggle with the breeze.

Vague kinds of burning trees wait calling in a supplication that came too late when
you came late, a glint stored in the memory of the water comforts its summer
eaten away at by the waves’ old thought about the seasons, the salt
is ablaze in the emptiness of the place where you leave the smell of pain spreading
from the beginning of the world to the last thread in your scarf interwoven with suns
and the old waiting times for a lover who comes with the small floods
through the mercy of the sky that waits the distance of a single colour of your early budding
rainbow away, of a shadowy rose trying to know her own self.

I open the morning like a case of illusion, I pull my waiting out of its illusory
bed, I set up your face of all the faces of women on earth to surpass
the perfection of my illusory illusion, I button up the tub of mint to preserve
your final passage across the canvas of creation before it is created, I see stories
and civilizations and prophets and inventions and languages fall from the outpouring
of your existence to the mundane worldliness of the flute, passers-by pick them up as charms against
joy to save the dove from the talons of the ready falcon nearby.

This is how your image appeared in the water
or this is how the clouds spoke to an unseeing sun!

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