Mostafa Ebada – A letter…just a letter

Mostafa LE P&W 7 Nov-Dec 2023

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14th Anniversary Edition, Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Seven Nov-Dec 2023.

A letter…just a letter,  poems by Mostafa Ebada.

A letter…just a letter

I want to write you a letter
A very ordinary letter
To tell you
That the story – also – is very ordinary
And we are lost
And I have become what I hate
I became the man I hate
And I should apologize
For the whole world
And we are with hurtfull clarity
Two frustrated bodies

I looked at your old photos
And I cried
This is what actually happened
I am not that romantic
To claim anything

I wanted to tell you that
This is our favorite day
And my unfavorite weather
Rain outside
And I hate rain
I let you down that day
Because the mud of the south is dusting my heart

I want to tell you about
my old wells
About half a century of hope
About thirst and hunger
And a postponed poem on your back

I wanted you to know
The Southern clay
And that you are beautiful
You do not need the illusion of my dreams
And to know
That sin is my sword against death
My anxiety and indulgence
And that I prefer solitude and forgetfulness
To remembrance
And that getting the smell back hurts

I want to address you
With this call:
Oh, the right throw of the stone
My whole life is a ruin
And what leads me to you
Is instinct
I am not that romantic
To forget your back


I am the wolf
I am a walking Quran
I am the deadly indignation
And the overwhelming longing
And the bitter silence
I am the slapped on both cheeks
I am the raised on my palms
I am the empty stomach
And the messenger of evil

My father and I slept outdoors
We were guarding the people’s sheep
And their harvest
And ooze patience from the eyes
I am a country that is falling apart
If two hands touch it
And the people rose to the cry of rain
If a female appeared
It became forgiveness
Who composed this perfume?

Our lost words

The missing words between us
The words swallowed by darkness
Which wake up like a flash of blood
How will I be able to
Breathe again

I think of that summer night
With half closed eyes
And a heart like a reservoir of delights
And a bright smile above
Your back
I think about that night and say:
I wish I were a wolf
You are familiar and soft
As sweet as a breeze
Behind a lonely tree
You are here
Collecting the missing words between us
And the sweat fill
The corners of my heart
And I can almost differentiate
Between a departed and a resident.


It was not normal
It is not, really, normal
I look at you
And I smile
It is like a war that broke out suddenly
A smile
That I feel the sunset behind it
And the fear and fascination
Desire, heartbreak, and fatigue
And I love you

In specific proportions
It changes every day on its own:
And corrupt
And in good health

Subdued in the best possible way
I usually say:
I am very happy
Or very sad
I never said:
I do not know
I cannot do this anymore
I love you
That is my extinguished cry
And my dark waters


Suffering is inevitable
The only thing to choose
Is memories
Which will give us solace

I am the worst lover in the world
You are not the best person in the world
Your refusal to be ordinary
Kill everything
To be normal
Is unbearable


I am crazy
At best, eccentric
Laughing for no reason
Sad for a million reasons
In other words:
Our relationship is a charming trap
And optional
And as a victim
It is allowed
To act as I want


In our unshared past
Great miracles
Cannot be apologized for
And crimes that cannot be forgiven
There must be a war
A battlefield and a theater
And repressed desires
And physical bleeding
The idea of being normal
Is really unbearable


My arms are prepared
And ready
To take my share of the world
And my heart is full

© Mostafa Ebada

Mostafa Ebada (1965) is an Egyptian journalist, poet, essayist and critic. He works as the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Al-Ahram – Arabi Magazine. He is also the cultural advisor to some of the most important Egyptian publishing houses, such as: The Egyptian Lebanese House, Al-Mahrousa Center, and Dar Batana. He published more than 10 books in different creative genres such as poetry collections and cultural and literary studies.

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