Aicha Bassry – Black Poem

Bassry LE Arabic Poetry September 2023

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Black Poem, poems by Aicha Bassry.

Black Poem

About my lips
I wiped the last kiss
Off my shoulders
I shook the farewell pat
I uttered flowery words that I swallowed foolishly
And for not crying when I remember
I recalled all his offenses:
His look at a woman who passed by
A stain of betrayal on his shirt
His break of an old date
Spinning poems, he wrote for bed-passers
And for a complete heal of him
I buried every word that reminded me of him
In a black poem
In the color of this poem

The mythology of the body

If I was born with the intuition of a wolf
-As I was accused-
And I pretended that the wolf ate me
Thus, I would not be eaten twice
If I shouted:
God, my sins are not what I have committed
That serpent confused my desires,
Thus, I would not be stung from the hole twice
If I were to slander Adam
And with an accusing finger, I pointed out:
This is your creature, Lord, and he ate the apple
Thus, I were not be thrown on the ground, a body with two hemorrhages,
Uterine bleeding and heart bleeding
If I disbelieve in myself
And you gave birth to me in the basin of temptation
Thus, I would be crowned queen of the kingdom of Eros.
And owned my body
If I had not taken off the mulberry leaf from me
– My only cover –
And threw it in the face of the devil
Thus, I would be the tree of the promised paradise
If I were more cunning and careful
Thus, I would not gave birth to a man from my womb to enslave me
If I were Atum I would not have created anyone but me
Thus, there was no first woman
Nor a first man
Nor there was betrayal from eternity
If you were born on cunning
– As stigmatized –
Thus, I would have torn the shirt of my beloved
From kisses
And in love, believe me
If I stood at the gates of death
And with the boldness of the one who goes back to him
I cursed Hades and all his names
Thus, I would not die between two lives
Was I really “me”
When I was not?

What does life bestow upon me?

Of my language
I made and lived lives
I built a house of words and inhabited it
I drew a sea and sailed
I set a sky and I flew
I fantasized about a man and fell in love with him
From my ashes, I grew a nursery for roses
From cuts in the palm
I released a flock of butterflies
From the womb of the snow, I ignited the meteors of desire
I explained myself to myself
And I called myself the riddle of names
Even my body made my death from its cells
So what does life bestow upon me?

© Aicha Bassry

Aicha Bassry is a poet, novelist and storyteller. She published many novels and poetry collections. She won the International Prize for the novel, Kateb Yassin (Algeria 2016), for the novel Greta Garbo’s Granddaughters, the Simone Landry Prize for Women’s Poetry (Paris 2017) for her Diwan (The Bathers in Thirst), and the Prize for Best Arabic Novel for the year 2018 (Sharjah Exhibition – United Arab Emirates) for the novel Life without me. Her books have been translated into English, French, Spanish, Italian and Turkish. She participated in many Arab and international cultural events (book fairs, festivals and conferences.

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