A witness said: they lived and they died.
Should the Innocent have to die because he flies over the earth?
His mother is walled in the time of flood,
the sun is merciless with mortal remains.
One Kasr lion* has lost an eye; the two lions lost their Nile eyes,
the desert is fire and blood, tracks and birds of prey
they settle on that Party building still burning
Arms with hands are weapons, right in "Things fall apart" Square
on this impotent day, in this old country, where water, like shame,
has dried out, the land's members devoured by wild beasts
In the months of March, April, November or December
there was a pyramid and an old king who in silence witnessed
his dwelling turned into a
Then the Armed Forces sneak into the yellowed photo,
a crescent of wax statues
dressed in military uniforms the color of illusion
like phantoms arising from a white block of ice
Meanwhile those still at time's young edge
bring the eagles down with their wings
The Sea Islands are velvet cloth; I see feet by the thousands
that brush past as they fly toward the Other Time
or toward the hour of the dream of death
at the dawn of the universe where naked arms embrace paradise
where the young ones dream and die
where the innocent is martyr
where the murderer wanders
his head sprinkled with dust
where beauty is terrifying
the new beginning will not bring them back here
"They die and we live"
* Kasr el Nil bridge is protected by
two stone lions. During the events
of Mohammad Mahmoud Street a bandage was placed on an
eye of each of them in reference to the revolutionaries who lost eyes.
Author Bio: Safaa Fathy was born in Egypt; she has been a director of program at the International College of Philosophy in Paris. A poet, filmmaker, and essayist, her most recent films are Mohammad Saved from the Waters, Derrida’s Elsewhere, and a film poem Nom à la mer. Jacques Derrida, with whom she wrote the book Tourner les mots au bord d’un film, prefaced her plays Terreur and Ordalie.