The Lament of the Butterfly Lover

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

From darkness, my night unravel

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
     if
you turned back in your steps
     if
you broke me for my sins
     if
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 it
east and west.
And you will remain —
      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
                  come
                   come
then you paved my way with boulders
and left me
     and left
and what else does the butterfly know,
oh, my killer
but
death
by the flame?

Saad AbdllahSaad

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