Fatima Elreda

Edition XXXIX

On Days that Repeat Themselves - by Fatima Elreda (Photo by Hakim El Haj).jpgPhoto credit: Hakim El Haj

On Days that Repeat Themselves

By Fatima Elreda

Geometric days
repeat themselves
knitting mornings into nights,

silence weaved into the heavy air
thickened with sunlight.

The pattern does not break
and this nothingness becomes a habit–
involuntary like the throbbing of a slit vein
leaking all over the floor.

Geometric days
measure their own passing
as rhythmically as water drops
fall into abysmal sinks.


Ghorba - by Fatima Elreda.(Photo by Samuel Austin)Photo credit: Samuel Austin


By Fatima Elreda

A transliteration of a word 
that holds memory in its grip,
nostalgia in its creases,
longing along its curves.

I am this word 
that does not belong in this poem, 
an untranslatable element of meaning 
that has not found its way into your tongue–
the unstructured foreignness of an unfamiliar language.

I transcribe the sounds;
yet, I cannot pronounce the pain
because there is no word that I could think of
that could describe this state of estrangement.

We lose in translation
the unspoken meaning
that is understood without proclamation,
the melancholy is
transmitted in the air–
the cause of an implosion
that breaks windows inwardly 
because I am not home. 
But, for some reason,
I know that even when I return 
my soul will remain in exile.

Return to the top