Nujoom Alghanem - THE SNOW OF MOUNTS

I sit in the very same place
my heart ablaze with yearning
my eyes captivated by the long hallway.
In the very same place
I memorize the faces of passers-by
then let them slip away
like sand through my fingers.

Suddenly his face is thrust among them
and my thoughts stutter.
Do I have to keep him in the cell
or must I open the door for him
to leave?

When I say: I will be careful
my body temperature rises
and the air in the room chills.
As for him, he disappears
between fever
and apprehension.
I think I will be unable
to forget him
yet I go into the alleys like a light feather
with my heart radiant as the snow
of the mounts.

Translated by Issa J. Boullata
Edited by Elizabeth Thomas