Sultan

A poem by Nizar Qabbani

If I were promised safety,
if I could meet the Sultan
I would say to him: O my lord the Sultan!
my cloak has been torn by your ravenous dogs,
your spies are following me all the time.
Their eyes
their noses
their feet are chasing me
like destiny, like fate
They interrogate my wife
and write down all the names of my friends.
O Sultan!
Because I dare to approach your deaf walls,
because I tried to reveal my sadness and
tribulation,
I was beaten with my shoes.
O my lord the Sultan!
you have lost the war twice
because half our people
has no tongue.

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