Monday, August 3, 2015



Abdelwahab Meddeb

 Tombeau of Ibn Arabi


She has an arched back, she walks on shadows, which

dance, idle, she de-louses herself, recluse in the fog,

she watches a gaggle of migrating birds pass, on the

river's bank, on the side of the mountains, there is a

destroyed village, surrounded by grottos, rooms for

the dijinn, my body is a protruding stone, I visit fever,

on the day of rest, she has left, without my knowing,

I see a bed in the lake, in which her face is mirrored,

I sink into her image, in search of her people, scat-

tered to the winds, my body is cut, from the downstream

upstream, I let myself be guided, by the jujube tree

at the end, I met some idols, at the break in the

wormwood, where I embalm my diseases, the saints

walk on their wounds, pain is a hole, it blackens my

reflections, I suffocate, I find her again, in the reality,

of her embroidered lace, I open her blouse, I drink

from her navel, I enter her absence, I bear allegiance to

her, I sign her wrist, with a metal of nocturnal glim-

mers, it burns flowers, save the narcissus and the

tulip, she offers me a cowl, it has the emblem of the

scorpion, the rough wood electrifies my body, dense

in the night, crumbly like coal, her hair is a hive,

which hums around a captive queen, Arab and white,

she speaks frankly, with a Latin flavor, she hides her

body, and uncovers it, she lets down her hair, and

gathers it up, the things of the day take shape, in the

unfinished clay, with sculptor's hands, I touch the

black stone, the mark opens, like a window, the night

sparkles, the moon is a plate, which I break, and

bury, under the circle of fire.


Abdelwahab Meddeb
Tombeau of Ibn Arabi
White Traverses
translated by Charlotte Mandell
Fordham University Press 2010