Life by Abdellatif Laâbi

translated by André Naffis-Sahely

Life
It’s enough I woke up
the sun to my right
the moon to my left
and that I walked
from my mother’s womb
to the threshold of this century
Life
It’s enough that I tasted this fruit
I wrote about what I witnessed
I never kept quiet about the horrors
I did all I could
and everything I took, I gave over to love
Life
is nothing short of a miracle
that nobody sees
O wounded body
wounded soul
admit you’ve been happy
Just between us
admit it

Two Hours on the Train by Abdellatif Laâbi

translated by André Naffis-Sahely

During two hours on the train
I rerun the film of my life
Two minutes per year on average
Half an hour for childhood
Another half-hour for prison
Love, books, wandering
take up the rest
the hand of my companion
gradually melts into mine
and her head on my shoulder
is as light as a dove
When we arrive
I’ll be fifty or so
and still have
about an hour
to live