I Write My Hidden Longing
by Abdulla Majid Al Noaimi
The Captive of Dignity
I write my hidden longing:
I tried to defend him with my eyes,
But I looked around and was cornered.
Destiny had found me.
My rib is broken,
And I can find no one to heal me.
My body is frail,
And I can see no relief ahead.
Before me is a tumultuous sea;
The land continues to call me.
But I am sailing in my thoughts.
The ingenious have murdered me in my home.
I wish someone would comfort me;
At night I taste bile and cannot sleep.
The tears of someone else’s longing are affecting me;
My chest cannot take the vastness of emotion.
The book of God consoles me,
And dulls the pains I have suffered.
The book of God assuages my misery,
Even though they declared war against it.
I stand tall and smile in the face of misery.
I am satisfied.
Oh Father, tell the tearful one,
“Do not forget me, as I do not forget you.”
He will understand my condition.
And when you pass by life’s familiar objects–
The Bedouin rugs, the bound branches,
The flight of pigeons–
I salute the brothers,
And pray peace to those who remain unfaithful.
I say hello to Shwayman.
And to everyone whom I love,
And to everyone who misses me.
Remember, pray to God for those whom I love.
Maybe God, with His kindness, will have mercy on me.
Poems from Guantanamo: the detainees speak edited by Marc Falkoff, attorney, University of Iowa Press (2007)