Saadi Youssef

(Basra)

The Jazz Corner


A moment after midnight
every night
jazz begins to soak the Jazz Corner
like new wine
like village wine
A moment after midnight
every night
a woman descends a dark staircase
to sing Brazil
or balconies in candlelight
or the village girls
A moment after midnight
every night
A door is opened
and the flower seller enters
tired
and she leaves tired and crowned with anguish
and the aroma of the villages
A moment, after the clock strikes three
I shut my lids
The Jazz Corner is asleep under my eyes
I hear the pulse of your hands on my arm
and I am comforted
and I feel in the silence the pulse of the villages.

Translated by Khaled Mattawa

Submitted: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, September 17, 2013

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