Saadi Yousef was born near Basra, Iraq, in 1934. He has published poetry, short stories, two novels, several essays, and four volumes of his collected works, including Without an Alphabet, Without a Face, which won the 2003 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation.
How will I drag my feet to her now?
In which land will I see her
and on which street of what city
should I ask about her?
And if I find her house
(let’s suppose I do)
will I ring the bell?
How should I answer back?
And how will I stare at her face
as I touch the light wine
seeping between her fingers.
How should I say hello…
and how will I take the pain of all these years?
twenty years ago
in an air-conditioned train
I kissed her all night through…