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Salman Masalha

THE POEM

Empty the sea of its fish.
Bring clouds back to the river.
Wipe from the infant’s lips
the weight of pregnant women.
Branches of grief shade all.
And legends are sorrows
milked from widows’ breasts.
When prophets depart
do not report the loss.
And never never say
that hope
hides in the poem.

Salman Masalha


RAKIA

                  To Tsetska
 
In Struga, by the lake,
women send their sons
to America, and build
rooms on the roof
for those who might
return. Meanwhile,
they have some fun
hunting nomad poets.
A shot or two
of rakia, homebrewed,
yellow or white,
opens doors
and often
hearts.
(Struga, August 1995)

Salman Masalha

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