-my heart exceeding my need-

The aim is to use no verbs, placing each line, and therefore the reader, resolutely in the present. But verbs are used — they just happen to be being verbs. And they’re just not the same thing at all, are they?
A Noun Sentence
by Mahmoud Darwish
translated by Fady Joudah
A noun sentence, no verb
to it or in it: to the sea the scent of the bed
after making love…a salty perfume
or a sour one.  A noun sentence: my wounded joy
like the sunset at your strange windows.
My flower green like the phoenix.  My heart exceeding
my need, hesitant between two doors:
entry a joke, and exit
a labyrinth.  Where is my shadow — my guide amid
the crowdedness on the road to judgment day?  And I
as an ancient stone of two dark colors in the city wall,
chestnut and black, a protruding insensitivity
toward my visitors and the interpretation of shadows.  Wishing
for the present tense a foothold for walking behind me
or ahead of me, barefoot.  Where
is my second road to the staircase of expanse?  Where
is futility?  Where is the road to the road?
And where are we, the marching on the footpath of the present
tense, where are we?  Our talk a predicate
and a subject before the sea, and the elusive foam
of speech the dots on the letters,
wishing for the present tense a foothold
on the pavement …

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