The Lament of the Butterfly Lover

This poem was written by Saad when he was still in Aleppo, Syria


From darkness, my night unravels

and from memories of my beloved—the prisoner

Your likeness smiles at me, recalls you to me

—so much of you more and more of you.

Your love is healing

and yet great torture

For it was you, sir, who made me the droplet of water

striving against the current

And it was your love which made me the liar

even unto myself

that someday, you might be

` my prisoner.

But I do not blame the soul that made you my lover

as I do not blame the soul who laboured to gather

all the letters in the world all the prose and poetry

to unite them—individually, patiently in one phrase

I love you.

And I would not blame you, my inspiration


you turned back in your steps


you broke me for my sins


my heart were splintered and torn.

No—I will stay loving you for one thousand ages

stay loving you until my heart withers

and the rising wind scatters

east and west.

And you will stay— you the tears raining from my eyes

succour for the thirsty spirit water for spring flowers—fragrant

like I was, my prince the day I loved you.

But what patience it took

to be saddled with the weight of your love

to be changed from youth to infirmity

I did not choose your love

not once did I choose it

but it illuminated me

filled me with fire and with ice

as you stretched out your hand to me

do you remember?

and said come



then you paved my way with boulders

and left me

and left

and what else does the butterfly know,

oh, my killer

other than death

by the flame?

Saad AbdllahSaad


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