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Translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid

 

I know I’ve got nothing left—
all my food was eaten by thieves
who are laughing now
and burping and farting in the hall
(the thieves are old neighbors and classmates and cousins).

You know I want for nothing—
I let that food go
of my own free will.

Those people
can’t even call themselves thieves.

Najwan Darwish is one of the foremost contemporary Arab poets and his work has been translated into over twenty languages. NYRB Poets publishes Darwish’s Nothing More to Lose and the forthcoming Exhausted on the Cross (February 2021), both translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid.

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