Crossing Diyala River At As-Sa’diya On Horseback

Coming from where doves
are hunted and devoured;
from Mahmoulah,
region of serene beasts and humans,
contented with what is given to them;
at midday, you cross Diyala,
a vertical voyage into the sky.
Your heart beats,
as you, while in movement,
imagine lunch in the presence
of faces of bedouin women,
those from a desert garden at sunset,
saturated with aroma of liquid gold.

You enrich yourself and your companion,
you say, “This water is so light,
its bleaching blue is approaching whiteness.”
And then your are forever enveloped
by its invisible vapor and freshness
extended to faraway horizon,
wetting raging flames to come.

The horse trots on summery white stones,
then the water receives its warm body.
You are looked at by the water;
your water that you leave behind.

But at night in the train compartment,
as you in friendliness loosen the grip
of the sudden fever,
your water comes back
and reaches your forehead.

Anwar Al-Ghassani
San José, October 7, 2007