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An Egg in a Frying Pan

Nasser Rabah

Suddenly… the electricity’s off.

And life sips at a cup of silence,

finishes its shift

and sits, rests…

Houses don the clothes left

on their dark lines.

Windows, mailboxes, and clocks,

all stop waiting.


Scholars refrain from chatting

martyrs postpone death,

But time spreads, like an egg

in a frying pan.


The electricity’s gone off,

and we smell a scent of life.

Like a woman just leaving her bed.


Translated by Mosab Abu Toha

Letter to the pilot returning to the base after bombing Gaza.

Nasser Rabah

You might be taking off your heavy military helmet, smiling to those who greet you. And they might be congratulating you on a safe return from a very risky mission, but you are the only one who knows well what you have done. Shame on you. Shame on you. Spread dust over your head. Spit at your face in the mirror. Is this what you’ve been taught? To fight the houses and the streets have no missiles against your fighter jet that flees through planeless sky. And when you watch our children under rubble on your TV screen? They waive their hands in victory,

even when dead.


Translated by Mosab Abu Toha

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