The Nightmares Bus to Sabra and Shatila- Najwan Darwish

The Nightmares Bus to Sabra and Shatila- Najwan Darwish

The Nightmares Bus to Sabra and Shatila

Najwan Darwish

I saw them stuff my aunts into plastic sacks
Their hot blood pooled in the corners of the bags
(But I have no aunts)
I knew they had killed Natasha, my three-year-old daughter
(But I have no daughter)
I was told they raped my wife, then dragged her body down the stairs and left it lying in the street.
(But I am not married.)
Those are certainly my glasses that were crushed under their boots
(But I don’t wear glasses)

I slept in my parents’ house and I was dreaming about her house. When I awoke
I saw my brothers
Hung
From the roof of the Church of the Resurrection
Out of compassion, the Lord said: this is my own suffering.
I mustered up the hanged men’s pride and said: in my opinion, it’s ours.

Pain illuminates everything and I love it more than my nightmares.

I will not flee to the North
Oh Lord
Don’t count me among the ones seeking shelter

We’ll continue this report later.

I’ve got to go to sleep now.
I don’t want to miss the nightmare bus that goes to Sabra and Shatila.

Translated by Marilyn Hacker and Antoine Jockey

 

Najwan read this poem at the Storytelling Slam event at Hay Festival Beirut 2012. He was also one of the Palestinian poets who participated in an event at the Shatila Camp.