A Dream on a Stone Wedge?

Mona Mohamed Saleh

The echo doesn’t make a sound. Yassen mutters as his cursing words are blockaded by ghosts, bats of darkness, stone throwers, and those who are stained with the tragedy of devastation. As if whipped harshly raising up and down on suspended life of dismembered corpses and seasons that will never come! 

 It’s almost 1 a.m. after midnight. Silence and quietness leisurely run like a blind snake’s hiss all around the small room. Watercolor pictures are carelessly hung on the room’s walls, while on the other side behind the up-lined door, wooden shelves stretch, crammed with books. An empty old cardboard box is beside the single bed in the room. In it, some photos and old letters. A faintly neon light flows from the long corridor that leads to the living room. Nothing breathes inside the place except a scattered group of wild squirrels barking from time to time. They come from the dense pine wood, a few meters away from the isolated house-garden on the foot of a high mountain at the west shore in Norwegian town “Lyon” where winter kills its whales! 

Yassen sat on a rocking chair near the burning metal stove fence, barely resting his feet, seeking warmth. Looking from his chosen solitude through the wide window glass, he had no companion but those boundless plains of snow as far as he could see, drinks some leftover of an old bottle bitterly tasted and his strange, tamed solitude.

He swung in his seat, following the wind blowing outside dropping down the trees’ dried leaves on the garden ground. The garden was carefully and monotonously trimmed as if a professional carpenter had polished its neck. Yassen was ready for discouraged compromises of Satan’s legacy. A crossed-eyed giant comes up repairing the wind, completing poems, failed probabilities by self-confused reactions surrounded by death striking hand. Either passed without intimated farewell or be converted into Moses’ staff to spring out behind the sea on land—hopefully so!

Sadness was re-awakening fresh. It dissolved his salted solitude in numbed happiness. The new beginnings are in brilliant lavishness like spring field flowers. Their last meeting ascends the oleander shade.

Oh, hopefully she was here to make Allah’s miracles on the earth come true! 

Her bronzed twilight compassion warmly seeps resting into soul’s boundaries. She was exhausted by seasons of displacement seeking for nothing but distances or a time similar to a sunbeam’s brightness. From the seat to the last mountain in a country ravaged by loss and soul devastation. The dichotomy of pain aggregated between two times, fluttering the souls, and whipping off the life happiness out of the eye and heart.  

Between us, thousands of poems,

Archipelago of tombs,

Between us a clique of soldiers and;

Songs of victory,

The Besieged of countries heal their wounds for a day to come, and it never comes!

Here night’s stars are not sparkling. We revolve in the orbit of survival, being crushed by escaping desires out of suspended shambles, and sea advances to submerge us with water and mud. The language flees from its neighing, writing down the names on a line of obituaries then falling like a body to the depths covered by slippery mossy mud.

I know that I’m desperately taking my descending failure like us, a tropical line without passionate care warps those who have been lost in the siege nebulae. Their persecutors lined up witnessing their burden, bet on their lively dead! 

How could we be out of an equatorial place rumbled by ruins and the desperation of escapers of biting air? They quietly embraced their last gasp in a silent stupor. Followed by their shadow-like ghosts emerged from the guards’ skeletons, impoverished cities to the wildered mourn.

Alone inhabited the sea as a velvet bed covered by a lilac ornate veil. Now, it is not working to try again, the stinging pain grows and uncovers the wound. 

Let me leave your eyes prostration,

Send Seagulls into your sky,

On the heart there my song rests,

A woman detects heart weakness,

Sinks into naval of the body,

Like a core split into two different lilies,

They meet in a testy, except her,

To let such glory grow within my heart!

Now, wishing your shadow on the wall protects me against such stinging toppling craziness. Internal noise, surface pokes out of the body. As if all pores changed up their cycle from salted water into blood!   

I shouted your name, Marima,

Who but you to love…?

To love a dream that speared like carnelian into our last sweetly meeting memory,

Faraway, I carried the smell of fields,

Mud on both Anbasba River shores,

Revive my blood with shore and land seeds,

To be grown as a green prophet at your cilia,

How we spring off throne as petals,

Mary Magdalene, a mythical joy,

We ride a horse of dream,

There being left alone,

A country born stars shouldn’t die,

Yassen felt that his heart pulled out of his place as flaked cotton. He late too late to farewell her, who was taken away by the waves. We’ve to start things and then end up in a united space of time. 

We’d not planned to meet. The idea was growing as a spreading epidemic, swiftly dispelled over the desperate heads, nobody knew about the matter or what he thought about. Escaping from Sawa compulsory military recruitment camp. A forced labor coated by torture like a woodpecker in the depths of hell. The enslavement of Alaqlaqot camp, a grave that crushed their humanity, it slowly harvests the end of ages, their dreams, childhood joy, a fear that gets into graves, striking the life on its geared edges. Nobody trusted his shadow. 

 Death has a single form with different smells. Both of them had chosen a merciful one, occupied by absence, gamble to the death and its gifts in a journey without return. Winds carnivals are running as if abided by a destiny. They found themselves in a tiny van overcrowded by stacked human bodies closely joined. The small faces are engraved by oppression and its interval pains. The shouting silence vacuity falls over the overburdened heads like a wedge between a dream and the upcoming dying moment.    

At first glance, the distances are closed. They’re standing on the horizon threshold that seemed elsewhere between them, and they aimlessly seek its end. They met at Tempore detention center in “Tobruk” city for some time then sent to a new jail in Ajdabiya town at the fringes of Libyan desert borders. They have been chased along their desperate journey searching for Noah’s ship to join its loaded creatures from each two mates. The ship to cross the Mediterranean waters where God promised paradise with the alienated soul in its definitive unconsciousness. 

Beside him, he spared a space for her where the exhausted bodies jostled along the van movement. The van breaks the abandoned silence of the Libyan shoreline on its way to the Jail of Ajdabiya. He peeped at her welcoming in a sorrow he couldn’t hide. Being flabbergasted by the depression overwhelmed her figures. He asks:

Why did you come to such a damn place?

He gulps his bitterness as he solaces himself.   

Her flowery eyes embraced and a small smile appeared on her skinny brown face regardless of the dreadful scene. 

Hi, my name’s Mariam.

She replied in a calm tone. As she straightens her ornated lilac veil on her soft curls, her eyes have relighted. A slight heart beat hung between the rising breaths with anxiety and fear. Beside him she seated where the ghost leaving its shadow. The equatorial-like place engraved light grooves like a wet breeze reducing her pressure. The pulse of the silent language was utterly unleashed to let be in the presence of their promised immigration awaited by dolphins. 

Both were affected deeply by depression along a journey that was fenced by the installments of harvest and sad cloud chasing evening months flock. 

If we were with wings…! 

Mariam stares with crying eyes at nothingness of sky, that nobody would sense but only the devasted human within her. The black defeat has descended over her. There was nothing but wind blowing, carrying her sad voice echo oppressively bounced. Before her sorrow cycle completed, she dared to ask: 

What forced us to do such bizarre work? She added in amicable challenge:

 Having chased us in such an insulting way would double their sinful misery and then unified the myth of the genuine wound.

Yassen gulped the last sip of his empty bottle, brushing his dried lips with his shirt sleeve. He was enthralled by Mariam’s charming that densified by wet pain. A saltiness invades the fatigued inner scattered unorderly, as he watches from the wide window glass. 

The wind was whipping what left of trees dried yellow leaves on the garden paved ground. It looks too bright and miserable than ever. Noah’s ship fully loaded built from the passing names underground, nothing around both of them, but the darkest floating world.

As if I heard rain falling outside, her charming voice pounded compassionately nude.

Don’t worry, don’t worry.

He recalled a missing dimension like an atom sunk deeply in its intimateness. You did refuge at me as far as the eye and as close to the heat! 

We were in an absolute seclusion. Water was floating over the lamenting winds at crashing point with the scattered bodies on the ledges of last breath. We reviewed the names of who have been passed. Dead bodies facing their killers, the black crews cawed over us, waiting for the crucial moment to dance on the collective wedding music.

Now, my sad towns have visited me. Holes of light urging my eyes, the memorial images like your name and those traveling into my blood. They’re ready now for dancing from tide to another. 

Yassen seemed to be exhausted as his inner relaxes. Winds outside whistling striking him from every direction. Neither breathing sea breaths dawn, nor legendary birds flapping the white flags inaugurating the crossing of God’s promised paradise with alienated souls.

I hugged her shuddering body at last short incomplete farewell, quickly and forcibly washed away by water as a last attempt to rescue her and climbing into an empty ruptured world. 

It was like a nightmare in a blind could, then them back to the souls exists to penetrate both the earth and sky. The sea torrent has attacked the land to engrave the all evergreen. No trace of Moses’s stick!

Mariam’s voice raised up echoing in the empty silent room. Like a bright bloomed embracing as her flowery eyes, vision has been shaped in balls unified and exclusively under the burden of surprise affected him.

In front of him, the pine trees appeared far away as they colored by sunny golden shining breaks the solitude of darkness. Yassen felt a neat beat warmly again crawling up to him, as if that was Mariam there to handle the morning. 

I recalled the earth shadow in her eyes, their salty smile melts between the sand and echo lanes. They’re seeking for warm like small birds flapping their wings highly fly into the bluest sky altitude. Like a heart freshly beating guides him to a martyred grave. Eventually, an osmium plant grows on a stone wedge!

Mona Mohamed Saleh

Author: Mona Mohamed Saleh

Mona Mohamed Saleh
Mona Mohamed Saleh is from Al Qadarif City in eastern Sudan. She is a short-story writer, poet and translator. She has been actively working in exiled-cultural communities’ activities, where she contributes to immigrants and refugees’ initiatives at different centers and institutes abroad. She intensively writes in Arabic media and organizes short-story competitions. Her writings include literary articles and public cultural issues. She is fluent in both English and Dutch.

Translator: Nassir al-Sayeid al-Nour

Sudanese critic, translator
and author.

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