My homeland is a face, an essential light,a fountain of life. It is a hand that awaits to settle on my shoulder during the twilight. It is a voice that is made up of sobs and laughter, a whisper for my trembling lips. My homeland has no horizon, other than a restrained tenderness in the black eyes, a tear of light appearing on the eyelashes. It is a body of precious torments, like a bundle of roots kept near the warmth. It is poetry generated by the absence of a country born on the edge of time and an exile after a deep sleep suspended from a tree with fragile branches shaken by the wind. My homeland is an encounter on a bed of leaves, like a caress, and a glance to sleep. A country so far from words so to trample the memory. Between our fingers there is a stream because there is silence. My face is of that stubborn empty sky wounded by the elegance of rejection. My downfall is our love, a disfigured bleeding tree broken by grace, disfigured by the same pain which grasped our bodies. Those late mourning verses remain for a homeland which no longer has a face.
From “Stelle Velate byTahar Ben Jelloun