Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Dragonflies - Asmaa Azaizeh

Millions of years ago, there were no winged creatures.
We all crawled around on our bellies and paws
to arrive.

We arrived nowhere in particular,
but the rough ground coarsened our bellies
and our paws stretched out like mountains.
Every time we stopped in the shade of a tree,
one of us would shout: “Here we are!”
A fantasy mightier than mountains.

Millions of years ago, dragonflies emerged from narrow streams.
The water was heavy on their backs,
like a tightening in the chest,
so they asked creation for wings,
that they might perceive anguish
as clearly as stones on the riverbed.

Since then, we all fly,
millions of wings and planes cloud the sky,
humming like hungry locusts.
But not one of us has asked creation
to deliver us from the fantasy of arrival.
In our chests, the same tightening.

Asmaa Azaizeh (born 1975) Israel (she is Palestinian)
Translated by Yasmine Seale

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