by Malek Charchour

Afrukhe, the bird leaves his home.

He does not recognize his feathers,

his wings,

for all his eyes can see

is sky and its light in the moon.


Afrukhe leaves the sacred tree

of olivewood

that glistens like a lion’s skin

in the darkness of this night.

He takes off, gliding to an unknown world he knows to be his,

to that land farther than the seas

Dimi sings about

when she sits under Afrukhe’s silent olive tree.


Water moves beneath his wings

in frozen delight, and the sea dictates

Earth’s thinning air.

All around,

it swims through his falling feathers.

This was the entity he should have been—

this sea, who graces the lands of unabiding coasts,

where the sun he prays to never remains in the sky,

for above this sea,

the Earth dances to her own music’s darkness.


The Earth, iklan, as the bird knows her

breathes from the mountains,

but never dies from their weight.

As for Afrukhe, he still searches for something,

something from a past life buried in iklan.

In this bleakness of the night,

he remembers when he was a man, four lives ago.

The olive tree imprisoned him,

and now the sea brings back to life

the human body he once possessed.

Those human bones, those human voices

screeching songs of a distant home,

and now this earthly banishment.

For that brief moment,

Afrukhe’s eye gleams of emptiness,

for his bird life, his human life, and now this sea

will forever sing the song that killed his voice.

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