The day he died
he was satiated with the pleasure of words
his face… filled gradually with familiar expressions
His eyes… gazed up always amid the slight smoke.
We can say – honestly –
he became good at relating his memories
eloquently evoking his many women
and his shy teenage friends.
Nothing worried us
except the room crowding with the translucent souls of his friends
running into each other amid the old furniture
no one interrupted him
A slight longing for his time
threaded his words
hot sighs from the chests of fans.
Unconscious of how
his cheap cigarettes
went out – more than once
(his thin fingers
filled with blue veins like ravines).
We knew he certainly wasn’t able
to stop the flood of old stories from his mind
nor the shaking in his hands
A cold shiver suddenly attacked
his open chest.
We lay him down immediately
on his bed filled with deformed dolls
their extremeties brutally pulled out
We uncovered a soft doll
the size of a woman
a doll… with thousands of dry sperm on her navel and pubis
a doll… with no features
He continued talking
in a voice like crackling paper
as every letter was enunciated
On the day he died
the lonely man had made up his mind
that night to sleep in the arms of his doll
We know: he must have needed the patience of seven angels
to complete braiding her long hair
he learned how to make her totally ready
to receive the warmth of his body on the coldness of hers.
We know: he would have carried her between his arms like a doll
and placed her - gently- over the dresser’s chair
her back… he would have steadied against his left hand
(the weak palm shivering with mysterious pleasure
beneath her light dress
until the shiver had reached
the center of his spine somewhere).
He would have opened – to the right – the dresser’s drawer
and pulled out the imported make-up
(an eye-liner that would have been wiped out
by the tear of his excessive cruelty
and lipstick, that would have been rubbed off on his cheeks and lips
from the first hug he would pull her
the uneven line made by the flu-master pen as eye-brows
would be smudged by the drops of his sweat).
Like that… slowly and carefully
he would have removed the mask that she had for an entire week
he would wipe out all the feature that he had enough of
Her new face
a wider eye with a bold sexy look
increasing the blackness
outlining the lips as much as possible
his saliva drooling into her mouth
(the two lips that bit
the moment of orgasm
when she was shy!)
He formed her chin to a degree
that would hold his left shoulder up
in order to verify her existence – every day- in front of the
with hidden joy.
he had put on her the black lingerie
and strapped her breasts in an old bra
as he padded in the cotton balls
That began to appear from the frail body
carrying her back to his bed
he won’t forget – in the end – to be gentle with her
he would have given her a name
that would suit her new mask.
October 1997- Cairo
Translated by: Mona Zaki