Two Poems by Wadih Saadeh
Translated from the Egyptian

by Amber Nelson and Maged Zaher


Mysterious Neighborhood



and with a can opener in my hand

more foam comes out:

men walk

like a weak piano practice

rivers wait at the gate

and ribs

open like an umbrella.

Itís a foggy morning in the streets

stains from last week

they are going to a funeral

this Sunday.




Among You


These days

I am trying to find a thief

who would take everything without

waking me.

Iím searching for a

guarantee of the afterlife

like a new furnace

that consumes the coal of my past

or a woman

to bribe whoever resists

my prostrate body.

In these days

that are free of a loving ligature.

I only want to chew the hands

of all the clocks

moment by moment.

Despite that, a nice word opens

my mouth in the morning

and a spear

keeps cutting my air.

A thief!

Donít you have a respectful thief among you, sirs?