Esraa Al-Nimr – The men I love

Nimr LE Arabic Poetry September 2023

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The men I love, poems by Esraa Al-Nimr.

The men I love

I always take the men I love
To the same places
And make them sit on the same chairs
And I choose the same food for them
I want without feeling
To introduce them to each other
To create a state of intimacy between them
Because one day
When I am gone completely
They will meet in these places
And they will see that they look alike
As if they are all one man
That would be funny to me
I, who, hover around them
Like dust.

An affectionate grandmother
wraps her arms around her
granddaughter’s neck

Do you feel pity for me?

When the teacher slapped me
And she said that I did not find anyone to raise me
I remembered you at once
And I cried
Not from the slap
But because she said what you always tell me
Although you know
The hand that made me
And put me on fire a lot
To become in this state
Your hand

Do you feel pity for me?

I see our picture together
Almost normal for those who do not know us:
An affectionate grandmother wrapped her arms
On the neck of her granddaughter, who lost her parents early
But for me:
A grandmother slowly strangles her granddaughter
Or a granddaughter hangs herself
With her grandmother’s arms

Do you feel pity for me?

I failed a lot in love
And at work
And in making friends
Failed to make a meal for two
Failed to walk in high heels
And in choosing clothes that keep pace with fashion
Failed to have a normal smile..
And a less severe gaze
Failed and failed and failed
But I never failed
To hate you..

Your voice

I love your voice, because it reminds me of the door of our old home
The door that smells like orange
Your voice smells the same

Your voice makes me reassured that this door will never die
And it will surely know my way
And come to me.

I need your voice because I live in a house without doors
I need a door to get out of

© Esraa Al-Nimr

Israa El-Nimr (1991) is an Egyptian journalist and poet. She studied journalism at the Faculty of Mass Communication, Cairo University, and graduated in 2012. In 2015, she specialized in cultural journalism, especially after joining one of the most important Egyptian cultural newspapers, Akhbar al-Adab. This step in her professional career helped her develop her poetic talent. She writes prose poems, and she published a poetry collection in 2020 entitled “The Eyes That Left Quickly”. Her new poetry anthology is under publication and entitled “Paradise is nothing but my grandmother’s name.”

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