Aïcha Arnaout

Aïcha ArnaoutWhen the inscrutable
embraces sluggish time
spreading its invisible light between two suspended shores
rags of screams, a flight of black cloth
spread a hollow vertigo
down the native alley

Sanctuaries in ruins, fathomless crypts,
sepulchres with no remains merge
above a beaded sheet
wrapped around the earth’s flank

The eye of silence peers
and sinks into the snowed-up scene
tears it up like a lightning-blade
digs the earth to the bone
a grave for the wandering woman
Translated from French by Cécile Oumhani.

Born in Damascus, Aïcha Arnaout has been living in Paris since 1978. A poet and a novelist, she writes in French and in Arabic. Her poems have been translated into several languages. Her books include Eau et Cendre, Fragments d’Eau, La Fontaine with Alain Gorius, and La Traversée du Blanc.

 Associate professor at the Université de Paris-Est Créteil, Cécile Oumhani is a poet and a novelist. Her books of poems are published by Voix d’encre, and jave been translated into several languages.
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