Rachida Madani in Jadaliyya

Check out the excellent poems by Moroccan poet Rachida Madani as translated by Marilyn Hacker & just published by Jadaliyya. The first one is reproduced below; read the others here.

 

TALES OF A SEVERED HEAD

Rachida Madani

Translated by Marilyn Hacker

 

The First Tale

I

What city and what night

since it’s night in the city

when a woman and a train-station argue over

the same half of a man who is leaving?

He is young, handsome

he is leaving for a piece of white bread.

She is young, beautiful as a springtime

cluster

trying to flower for the last time

for her man who is leaving.

But the train arrives

but the branch breaks

but suddenly it’s raining in the station

in the midst of spring.

And the train emerges from all directions

It whistles and goes right through the woman

the whole length of her.

Where the woman bleeds, there will never be spring

Again.

in the night, in her head, under the pillow

trains pass filled with men

filled with mud

and they all go through her

the whole length of her.

How many winters will pass, how many snowfalls

before the first bleeding letter

before the first mouthful of white bread?

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