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Sport 40: 2012

Layla and Majnun

Layla and Majnun

My folly bakes stones. Don’t laugh at it

When I addressed you in words as cautious as the
new moon, you invited me to your fire

Every greeting already contains a farewell
and every touch a deathly blow

Why don’t you trust the waves that brought
us to one another and without reproach

Until our strength leaves us, they are the
gentlest companions we’ve ever had

Your hands are calloused from baking
and don’t distinguish the crust from the skin

page 234

Under this olive tree, at the top of which I
should hang myself, I sing praise to the trees

Nobody expels, nobody stones us
My skin is no banner, my soul

no broken wing. Silence is not
hell, innocence no paradise

All brotherly love is mixed unwittingly
with sexual desire

Is this why you fear desire, for doubtless
it also contains brotherly love

I would gladly tell you the truth
if I knew what truth was

You are not the abandoned landscape
and I am not the fleshless shadow

of myself. My nakedness is neither
heroic nor a reason to blush

Into this bed of fire that you have ignited
only an angel or a fool will throw himself

When you go, don’t expect a song of lament
Wait! Don’t go wordless! Just look—

you’re going the other way