BEFORE A NEW WORLD WAR / Poem by Ibrahim Honjo

Poem by Ibrahim Honjo
When I went down to the Mahalla
church bells and the muezzin’s voice
chopped this day on particles of dust
that were floating in the sunlight
as crystals from accidentally broken glasses
at the opening ceremony
of the exhibition of Picasso paintings
in the National Gallery London
out of breath Rebecca arrived from somewhere
gave me a hug, laughing uproariously
gold necklace around her neck
her gold earrings see-sawing like a pendulum
on the wall clock of my grandfather
why are you running Rebecca
your rapid breathing
slashing the ringing of church bells and muezzin’s voice
slashing this day in Mahalla
I want us to grow together this day
and with its peaceful departure I want us to touch the stars
walk between the big dipper and the little dipper
you are impatient Rebecca like a little girl
whose parents promised a new doll
look Rebecca at the blue Mahalla
while you dash against passers by
with your fleeting step
and with a smile the color of ripe peaches
even that little boy dirty with chocolate
is looking at you and smiling and sighing
giving a special color to this day
you always knew how to steal glances from passers by
I always laughed showing no signs of jealousy
today everything is different
I would like to pass by the Mahalla and look at its beauties
so that everybody can see you happy holding my hand
so they can talk about your charm
as the most important event in the Mahalla
the sirens of ambulances and fire engines
could be heard in the distance
you shivered violently and dragged me out of there
suddenly everything cracked and collapsed in me
and in me a new great war started
it’s time to go to that planet
the one I told you about in a long story
Ibrahim Honjo, From the book “How to touch eternity down the Mahalla” 2016.

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