A poem by Youssef Rakha

by qisasukhra

A new poem by Youssef Rakha that can be found here on his website (text and recording).



First song of autumn


Joy of my days, come

watch me run

I’ve bought white shoes

and see-through eagle’s wings


I am the clarinet’s mouth

and you the ransomed player

Kneel and guzzle me, set

the sea’s taste in my throat

and make my breast a wave

upon whose mane the sun

sows jewels

Lick behind my ear

Pushing me gently over the kerb

you shall see me crossing the asphalt

quicker and higher

till I unburden and become a pigeon

and when I turn into a spot on the horizon

tell me that life begins at forty,

remind me of the years to come,

strip off my sweat-stained clothes,

wash me, your song breaking

against hot water’s notes,

around my blurred face draw

in the mirror’s steam a heart

aglow, in light

In dreams I still smoke and strip a village girl

that I’ve just met

in my mother’s house. The incense mixes with her acrid scent

When I wake I can’t believe it

Joy of my days,

watch me fly

I have booked you a bed in the room along

Distances will no longer divide us

I am the mouth of the clarinet

Lick behind my ear

No greater delight than to crash into a cloud

on my way to you.