Aicha Bassry – Love in times of war

Bassry LE Gaza P&W January 2024

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Live Encounters Gaza Poetry & Writing, January 2024

Love in times of war, poems by Aicha Bassry.

Love in times of war

She called him:
– Let me see you.
He replied:
– A lump of blood in my throat
I am not shaved
Nor is it worthy of your eyes
Perhaps, in the evening we will meet
She said:
The sky is iron, and bullets are jumping out of the windows
Where did you get this certainty in the evening?
Let me see you now
The sky may depart
And there will be no evening.

The way back is zero distance

Where are you going now
And your feet have been torn by roads of no return?
To whom will you raise your head in supplication
As the sky is fragmented into mirrors that do not reflect anyone’s soul?
To whom do you extend your drowned hand?
The sea took its ships and migrated
To die, there
On the other side of the world
And the river left the city without permission
Who are you waving to?
The farewell napkins are heavy with the blood of the martyrs
Blood that draws a map that is not yet complete
And Joseph is still in the pit
Waiting for the caravan of strange Bedouins to cross
And you are still standing here like a palm tree
Carrying the rock of Sisyphus
Disturbing the graves of enemies
Ashaming their stinky souls
Just as they were alive guarding your bag with its seven exiles
Watching your hasty steps toward return
And planting pointed stones in your path
I am still here
Because their grudges have turned you into a statue made of diamond words
That haunt their collective grave
It reminds them of their lost wars
And that they are not and will never be anything else but
[Crossers in passing words].

© Aicha Bassry

Aicha Bassry is a Moroccan 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). Her books have been translated into English, French, Spanish, Italian and Turkish. She, also, participated in many Arab and international cultural events (book fairs, festivals, and conferences.)

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