The Night Traveler

By Fadi Abu-Deeb

The inhabitants of the city of the hillside,
Mount the currents of wind,
Receive the darkness as a sun in the morning
They make me wonder:
What do they think of our slumbering city?
Do they see the far desolated cities
Waking up at night to celebrate in whispers?

Their windows are wide open,
To welcome the ethereal thieves,
the messengers of moon,
And the waters of the heights.
The girls are silent,
Not uttering what they desire to say.
In their eyes, a lust after slumber,
Between the ribs of the stars,
And a flaming compassion toward the infant universe.

Strolling between the houses,
Which delightfully dwell in dreams
I peer through the holes of night,
To search the empty schoolyards
And the neighborhoods that extend without reaching the hilltop.
I stretch out my hands,
Into the windows of the kitchens
That are deserted for a time,
Reaching out to the walls,
To peel off the traces of past happiness,
To shove them between the threads of my clothes.

I return silently,
Crumbling a summer plant in my hand.
Weaving between my fingers
a globe of the local air.
Between the line of my palm,
Which the palmists read,
I roll the fragrance of a home I think I know,
With the perfume of nocturnal leaves,
And the remnants of the magic that rests
In the kingdom of pine and oak and blackberry.

With my eyes half closed,
That who never sleeps asks me
If I am waking up now
Or falling asleep.



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