When clothes go about their daily life
by Tamer Fathi, from Yesterday I lost a button: the story of clothes, translated from the Egyptian by Maged Zaher
Just like this
clothes get used to the spinning of the washer,
the foam of detergent,
They are left soaking in water
which becomes colored with their sorrows,
their thoughts leak out in the form of white bubbly foam
as they surrender to the detergent that is working hard
at removing their dreams
so they become white
They surrender to being wrung out
and hang obediently from the clothes line
to receive the air
They get thrown down with the dirty clothes
they get used to stains
and the sting of the hot iron.
They stare at the new clothes in shop windows.
Undergarments often choose
to be white
and to have their alternate lifestyle/their simple holes,
their ability to hide
and to slowly die
as they suck the blood
from the blisters on people's backs.
It was probably a nail
that left this rip bleeding its threads,
and made the clothes lie down again in front of the good-natured tailor
so the needles may continue their work
weaving the threads into the fabric
and rushing under the cloth
pulling out its limbs and memories.
Yet while so engrossed
the needles leave out some of the cloth details
and daily rituals.
Only just now
Have the trousers, that once played
hide and seek,
realized they have gotten old.
Tamer Fathy, was born in 1980. He studied English literature at
Maged Zaher's English poems have appeared in magazines such as “Columbia Poetry Review”, “Exquisite Corpse”, “Jacket”, “New American Writing”, “Tinfish”, and others. His first full length book: "Portrait of the port as an engineer" was published by Pressed Wafer press, in 2009. He performed his poems at Subtext, Kootenay School of Writing, Bumbershoot, St. Mark’s Poetry Project, Evergreen State College, and other places.