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Abdul Karim Al-Ahmad Feature

I was always
The passenger
Who made the boat more likely to sink

(Birth) I was born
A little before my due date
On the night when controversy raged
About everything
A release conditional on obeying the terms
I was born deceived and still am deceived
At the moment when Satan was drinking a toast to his third victory
On the night when knives were being sharpened
I was born
With a memory sew together with a needle and thread
Full grown in a way
With ideas liable to change
With an arm not up to armed combat
With a soul where anxiety has taken root
With a mouth that stammers when it speaks
And a compound name with no links to modernity
And a heart open to all possibilities.
I was born
By divine decree
In the alleys
Of the third world
Following Plan B
In a somewhat primitive way
in the clinic of a midwife who didn't believe in fate
I was born in installments
With this body liberated
From the womb that kept trying to abort it.
(To the Drowned Paul Celan) As if it is happening now
That river in whose head you spin
Remembers you
Until now
It remembers
Your lined forehead
Your eyes staring
Into unknown spaces
Your hand furrowed
By a scalpel and your terrifying jump
On that crazy morning
Celan everything was real
In that obscure event
Your waterproof shoes
Your last cigarette
The Mirabeau bridge
The distant whistles of the steamboats
Your shadow that always wanted you to look different
The dreams that left you imagining how the final scene would be
And this sky with its seven layers
Why didn't you think about things for longer?
Was the world so terrifying?
What are you doing to tell the world about the magnetic river mud
A garden settled in the face of nature
Or roots of a river squeezed between two banks
The sun was present at the farewell ceremony
And the eager water applauded
With great enthusiasm
Your overwhelming presence
The German-speaking Jew
The comrade tormented in concentration camps
We miss you
We who don't read much
We who press on these fingers
So they say something
We who rely on chance
To find ourselves
We who are trying to make you a promise (A Concert) In a while
And with these fingers that have never pulled a trigger
I will play a tune
On a sunflower
On your shirt buttons if I can
A tune
Longer than the river Rhine
More powerful than the whistling of the wind that travels with its diplomatic passport
To the sound of rumbling tanks
I will play that rebel tune
To the audience who doesn't take the performance seriously
To the sun that investigates the identity of the new prophets
To dogs who think about sex
To that invincible force
I will play a tune
With or without these crooked fingers
On matchboxes
On walls
Where 'The people want' is written
On barbed wire sharper than it ought to be
On shoes that run marathons on bad days
I'll play the tune
That's spreading through these fingers now
Like a boat that has overcome its obsession with sinking. © Abdul Karim Al-Ahmad Abdul Karim Al-Ahmad is an author from Syria and currently resides in Germany. He is a writer of poetry, stories and novels, a number of them having been published in Arab and international literary magazines and websites.

Abdul Karim Al-Ahmad Feature
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