Thursday Poem

Two Exhausted Bodies

My insides are a flooded field. Though the field outside is larger and I have played there, laid
down there, ran through it over and again, I have never spilled over its boundary.

I don’t know why pebbles
keep tumbling from my ears.
It’s been happening since yesterday.
They don’t hurt my ears.
My ears don’t ache… I just feel thirsty.
I often miss myself.
Recently I realized
that’s why I drink water before bed.

My friend’s question—Why do we think about our past, these days, especially our childhood?
—compelled us to open all the doors and windows. I don’t know if he swats the stars away from
his face like me.

This morning he was not aware
that a star had fallen between us while we slept.
We both forgot
to look for it.
Neither of us stumbled as we left the room.
I wish everything had been stolen
like my shoe at the mosque—

Even so, I didn’t return home barefoot; my insides were enough for me then, and I didn’t ever
allow myself to miss myself.

I wanted to tumble from my insides,
but many things must be tightened
when they come loose.
That inner distance, neither loosening
nor tightening.
Perhaps the boundary between two fields was too small a space for deception.

by Xosman Qado
Plume Magazine
translated by Zêdan Xelef and David Shook