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Touched by the Wind

To my friend Ahmed Rashid Thani, who left so early

It came early to take him to the lake. It stopped at the door of his home,

Then followed him to the bars,
To the alleys melting like raindrops, To his mother’s grave.
He called him by his name:
Drunk, on the verge of breaking wind, He walked, loud yet obedient,
And fell like an old branch of a palm. His shadow was puzzled, afraid— Would it stay with him?

They said he went to death of his own free will.

Translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid

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