New Poetry: Three Poems by Rana al-Tonsi

Translated by Sara Elkamel Final Barrenness  Sometimes The sky doesn’t draw its drapes As the first long, desolate night descends We are third-class patients Or, the less vulnerable We are the victims of wisdom The moment the window opens And the air pushes its way through Without appropriate exhalation We know now What the years have done to us The bed that has been vacant for years Of all the dead bodies and martyrs Must finally be left barren So it may stand tall And watch its soul infinitely fall Over strange arms. She holds an MA in arts journalism from Columbia University and an MFA in poetry from New York University. And there are madmen on bikes I mistook for magical whom this journey did not seize; my luck failed to thrust me between them. Sara Elkamel   is a poet and journalist currently based in Cairo. She is the author of the chapbook Field of No Justice (African Poetry Book Fund & Akashic Books, 2021). New Poetry: Three Poems by Rana al-Tonsi August 9, 2022August 5, 2022 by nashwagowanlock These poems appear in Egyptian Rana al-Tonsi’s forthcoming collection “الناقص” (“Incomplete”). To my only friend: I wish you were here, so we could take a long walk together. And there is you, perched on the maps of the world lighting a fire speaking to me of loneliness on a shore that departs and returns like someone with no desire to leave home. Born in Cairo in 1981, al-Tonsi is the author of nine collections of poetry, most recently Index of Fear (Dar Al-Ain Publishing, 2018). All I smell Is the stench of an iron Abandoned on run down clothes Until they caught fire And a wet circle And white teeth Undoubtedly unsmiling And dreams that die When there are no longer balconies to leave from And I have been writing poems for a while I don’t exactly know If this is my pain, or theirs. But I Always Lose Through one of the runaway doors That’s where I found myself * A fairy is dragging me from one light to the next And nothing escorts me But laughter * We are incomplete fragments Gestures hiding behind one another The fragments of uncertainty Glimmer In absence * I brought the eyes home The glances towards deprivation I caught sight of no one * I am full of fractures What scares me is that I’m trembling * Superheroes alone Accomplish everything The normal way * All women who commit suicide look alike All women who haven’t committed suicide look alike Someone has opened a window To bring a large stack of colored paper into the house * The circus is in my wallet The animals dance in the night Laugh without a sound They have no idea how to hide in a circus * The fighting in my head is never-ending A phone is ringing * The world’s new discoveries Pain, solitude and despair * You will sleep in my arms And you will come out of my body as a sparrow * Is there a way to contact heaven? Rana al-Tonsi is an Egyptian writer and poet. Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailPrintLinkedInRedditTumblrWhatsAppPinterestTelegramPocketSkypeLike this:Like Loading… I wage wars against myself And I always lose Loneliness There are others who inhabit this heart just as I do; I love them eternally.

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