I would like to make it, not less painful, only clearer

Samiah Haque

after Simone Weil

In a dream I saw executioners
entering your forest.

In Jeddah,
in another lifetime,

I knew an executioner.

He spent a childhood
polishing his father's sword.

This work is an inheritance.
Vein to vein, not learned
in a year or two.

He was taught
to raise his sword slowly,
to wait for a pardon to arrive.

In a dream, when you left,
I couldn't do a thing but wait
in empty fields.

And fast, it seems,
for years.