Atef Khaled: The Tower Mirage

 

 

She lives on the twelfth floor

where there lives too

her wise fleet fingers

her grey hair

her sixty years.

 

The tower has six lifts

three to the right of the lobby

and marble like ivory

gleaming damply

with daylight dwindling

till shadows swallow

stealing footfalls

and three lifts to the left.

 

In wait are doormen.

He makes before them

a veil, a veil

behind them

and slips within

with all of twenty-eight years.

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Yasmine Seale Translates Saadia Mufarreh

Saul Leiter, 1959. Source: robertacucchiaro.wordpress.com

You’re not there 

but details linger. Who knows how

they trickle in and scurry out, 

how they hum like a knot

of sandgrouse caught

in the snare of distance, 

laying waste 

to silence, that stranger

not to be trusted,

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