Between Ritta and my eyes..

Since I was listening to Mahmoud Darwish, somebody who knows very well about the meaning of the daily tragedy in the Israelian-Palestianian question, this poetry of his came to my mind (it is also a very famous song sung by Marcel Khelifa). He tells about the story of Ritta, a Jewish girl he was in love with..Between them, there has always been a gun (“Bayna Ritta wa aouyouni boundoukiyya“)


Between Rita and my eyes
There is a rifle
And whoever knows Rita
Kneels and pray
To the divinity in those honey-colored eyes

And I kissed Rita
When she was young
And I remember how she approached
And how my arm covered the loveliest of braids
And I remember Rita
The way a sparrow remembers its stream
Ah, Rita
Between us there are a million sparrows and images
And many a rendezvous
Fired at by a rifle

Rita’s name was a feast in my mouth
Rita’s body was a wedding in my blood
And I was lost in Rita for two years
And for two years she slept on my arm
And we made promises
Over the most beautiful of cups
And we burned in the wine of our lips
And we were born again

Ah, Rita!
What before this rifle could have turned my eyes from yours
Except a nap or two or honey-colored clouds?
Once upon a time
Oh, the silence of dusk
In the morning my moon migrated to a far place
Towards those honey-colored eyes
And the city swept away all the singers
And Rita

Between Rita and my eyes–
A rifle

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