In Damascus

from by Marcel Khalife



The Damascene Collar of the Dove


In Damascus
the doves fly
behind the silk fence
two by two

In Damascus
I see all of my language
written with a woman's needle
on a grain of wheat
edited by the partridge
of the Mesopotamian rivers

In Damascus
dialogue goes on
between the violin and the oud,
and about the endings:
whenever a woman kills a passing lover
she attains the Lotus Tree of Heaven!

In Damascus
a gazelle sleeps next to a woman
in a bed of dew,
the woman takes off her dress
and covers Barada with it!

In Damascus
a bird picks
at what is left of wheat
in my palm
and leaves for me a single grain
to show me my tomorrow

In Damascus
the jasmine dallies with me:
Don't go far,
follow my tracks.
The garden becomes jealous:
Don't come near
the blood of night in my moon

In Damascus
I count my ribs
and return my heart to its trot,
perhaps the one who granted me entry
to her shadow
has killed me
and I didn't notice

In Damascus
I write in a woman's journal:
All that's in you
of narcissus
desires you
and no fence, around you, protects you
from your night's excess allure

In Damascus
the traveler sings to himself:
I return from Syria
neither alive
nor dead
but as clouds
that ease the butterfly's burden
from my fugitive soul


from Fall of the Moon, released April 9, 2012



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Marcel Khalife Houston, Texas

Marcel Khalifé is a composer, Oud master & performer. Marcel's creativity, innovations, and humanitarian concerns along with contributions to the promotion of arts and Culture in the Arab world has earned him tens of awards in the Arab World and Internationally. ... more

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