Mailman

BY BULAND AL-HAIDARI

O mailman,

What is your desire of me?

I am far removed from the world,

Surely you are mistaken,

For the earth holds nothing new

For this outcast.

What was,

Still is, as it was before.

It dreams,

It buries,

And tries to regain.

People still have their festivals,

And mourning connects one festival with the next.

Their eyes dig in the graveyard of their minds

Looking for some new glory

To quiet some new hunger.

China still has its wall,

A legend once effaced brought back by time.

The earth still has its Sisyphus,

And a rock that does not know

It desires.

 

O mailman,

surely you are mistaken,

For there is nothing new ...

Return along the path whence you came,

The path that so often brings you.

What is your desire of me?

 

 

Iraq, 1926-1996