Elegy I

(for LVT)

No hope of retrieving your face given to me with coffee
In the yellowish winter afternoons.
No assurance except through my lonely return
To past wealth
To hear you laughing: Michok! Michokchik!
Audio light in your charming face
Dew vapor, timed vigor
And you, joyfully calm, of consequences unaware
Guarding your familiarity with noble thoughts
Initiating the playful retention of feelings.

Salt, stones, water and oil
Smooth surfaces borne by quivers
Spacial festivities
Unifying initiation and end of kisses.
Invisible light,
Dispersed on crimson flowers in passages of ancient shades
Upon urns on the coast,
Molds, decaying, with memories lost
Since the glaze undulated on the chalk.
Urns, with inner heat cooled
Void of sea basin reminiscence
Vacant, save odors of conchy creatures
Offerings to the sea Installed at an hour
Attuning the morning with the tiny shadows
Noises of swimmers with pots clamoring in the kitchens
The jangle of plates and spoons with the sea roar at ten-thirty,
And the light on sealed paint,
Poured on glass flowers shaped for eternity,
But, now, pale, decaying.

At night, fragrance of kisses
Disappears in a zephyr
Scatters among stones, branches, wrinkled waves, And urns;
These monuments, miniature shrines
Centuries of hidden offerings
Only the echo of broken wind
Resounds in their now hollow necks
Admonishing against retreat
Warmth is worthwhile
Also, wine and shells at "Mary Dragon."
Monuments of smokeless shrines,
Time drops in their cavities
Like liquid light, floating burning focal points.

A life it was, parallel
To the light of frailty,
Of flights in solitude, in hostile tubes
A hope for the advent of leniency.
But you too departed, replenishing,
Inflaming and extinguishing planets,
Captive in the time continuum, transforming,
In the oblivious tenderness
That links and drives all things.

Anwar Al-Ghassani
Feb. 15, 1989

Copyright (C) 1989 by Anwar Al-Ghassani
From: Sources, 1989
Translated from Arabic by the author
Revised by Kari Meyers.

* Michok! Michokchik!: playful variation of the Bulgarian word for bear or teddy bear.