Joumana Haddad
Blue Tree

When your eyes meet my solitude
Silence ripens, a fruit,
And sleep turns into storm.
Forbidden doors fling open
And water learns to suffer.

When my solitude meets your eyes
Desire rises and spreads haughty
like the tides, unceasing waves,
or like sap trickling drop by drop,
burning more than torment:
A start that never stops.

When your eyes meet my solitude
I surrender rain-stripped and generous
as a breast in a dream,
tender as the vineyard that matures in the sun.
Pluralized, I surrender
until your love-shoots grow
high and unruly,
unruly yet utterly mine.
An arrow that returns to the bow,
A blue palm nailed to my clouds,
A mounting sky nothing could restrain.

Translated from the Arabic by Najib Awad with Ravi Shankar.