Art for Carob Tree.
Detail from a 2014 painting by Guillaume Trouillard | Palestine Poster Project Archives

Carob Tree

Detail from a 2014 painting by Guillaume Trouillard | Palestine Poster Project Archives
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I want to talk with you. It’s been a while
since anyone’s talked with me, no one around
says to me the things I say to you
when I’m sleepwalking.
For example, yesterday at 3AM the soldiers rained
tear gas bombs on us, ten workers
who crammed in a walk-in refrigerator for produce.
And the gas, like crude oil
that spilled into sea,
a forest fire that occupied all the air.

The carob tree was uprooted.
I still don’t know what you’re like
when you catch the flu.
Tomatoes are cheap this season
and the farmers are sad.
I’ve saved the best tomatoes for you.
As for the first thing I do when I wake up
I check the weather.
Weather enthusiasts in Palestine, like followers
of skincare products on Instagram,
are many.

And one more thing, since you’re not here:
do you like eggplant?

 

                                        —Nablus

 

Translated by Fady Joudah

 

 

Read more from our series by Palestinian poets.

Tariq Alarabi is a poet and essayist in Nablus, and a wholesale produce supplier. He completed his BA in journalism in 2008. His first poetry collection, 4AM in the Market, won the Palestine Young Poet award in 2012. 

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