poem 55 by Nizar Kabbani

Why do you ask me to write you?
Why do you ask me
To undress in front of you
Like a primitive man?
Only writing undresses me.
When I speak
I keep my clothes on.
When I write
I become free and light
Like a weightless legendary bird.
When I write,
I separate from history
From the earth’s gravity,
I turn like a planet
In the space of your eyes.

translated by Bassam K. Frangieh & Clementina R. Brown

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