BAALBECK by Etel Adnan (2)

6.

The stream of water
running under Ariadne’s
temple is the thread
leading to the
Minotaur
– before getting lost
in the cotton
plantations

in the airless labyrinth
a living mass is
crying,
day and night

the goddess has left him.

I  bring him
olives and wine

but the god has
aged.

Aside from me,
only the wind knows the
way

which links Arabia to
Greece,
and our thoughts to
this place.

 

7.

Here, the air
is dry

the living escapes in
the form of impeccable horses
which run – there,
between the Lebanon and
the anti-Lebanon
the world is of a perfect
intelligence.

We own all the columns,
wherever they are,
being the only ones
to care.

The Mediterranean
spreads from the other side of
the mountain

it suffers from the boats
that cross its body,
but has survived
Carthage, Plato or
Mutanabbi
    – like us

(are they each alone,
or talking together,
how to know?).

What’s Memory doing
among these stones that
keep returning,
she, older than Creation,
– and anxious to say it?

Orpheus walks
in the center of
the village

while the wind
rushes the setting suns
to carry us
to places where
History and Nothingness
mix their
great waters.

 

8.

We’re sitting under
pomegranates that
came from
Persia to these harsh
lands
– when the voyage was
granted

on the roads,
passengers speak  of
the Aegean Sea as if
she were a person

for them, angels are
too many…

better not to remember.

 

9.

There’s something funereal
about orgies,

the time to
say it, the earth
has already traveled
enormous distances.

Where, then, is
joy?:

to me enchained,
an horizon
too close,
blinding.

(…)

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