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Creative Writing

Butterflies in abundance

where there is a tree 
(no use as a ladder)
there is a man. He seems familiar.
I see her in his hands.
He pulls off her petals
as if offering her a chance to confess
or offering the others the chance to cry.
I don’t say ‘petals make ineffective wings’.
He doesn’t say ‘I am only scratching a wound’.
(where cords of rain are carelessly knotted)
like a god 
he doesn’t seem to be waiting or confused. 
I don’t say ‘your shoelaces are untied’.
He doesn’t say ‘my shoes are too tight’.
I see her in his hands silent, meek.
And I,
as if I were a throat
was hanged on her vocal cords.
He is not on some far-flung deserted island
where I could speculate that he is counting the days.
I don’t say ‘the stars are our divorced mothers
afraid of schemes against us. 
He doesn’t say ‘every star is paralysed’.
The man
with his long hair
with his shadowy, pierced eyes
But the rose doesn’t forget
to give off her scent there, where
there is a small tree
(which doesn’t tell of any bird)
and a man giving a brief outline of the world.

-    Ameer Alhussein

     Translated by Alice Guthrie