Life

Detained on Manus Island for five years, journalist Behrouz Boochani has recorded the experience in film, essays and poetry. By Behrouz Boochani.

Manus Island poem

Untitled

 

Forgive me, my bird, as I am not able to embrace you.

But here,

in this corner,

I know some immigrant birds. I smile at them at the crack of dawn

and I embrace them with open arms,

as open as the immensity of the sky.

My beautiful love!

Forgive me, as I am not able to quaff the aromatic scent of your breaths,

but here, in this ruin,

I know some wildflowers which grow every morning in my heart,

and at the dead of the night, they drift into sleep with me, in my place.

Forgive me, my angel!

I am not able to caress your gentle skin with my fingertips.

But I have a lifelong friendship with sea zephyrs

and those zephyrs strum my nude skin here, in this green hell!

Forgive me, as I am not able to climb the green mountains of your body,

but here, at a depth of the darkness, in the middle of every night, I enjoy deep and utter seclusion with the tallest and more vain coconut trees.

My beautiful! I sing you in the profundities of the oldest and the oddest songs,

further away from the world of a man who loves you amongst the deepest oceans and the darkest forests.

Inside a cage,

the man loves you,

inside the cage located between the vastest ocean and the greenest forests.

Forgive me, my love.

Forgive me, my love, as I am only able to love you from a remote island,

inside the cage,

from the corner of this small room.

Forgive me, please, as the only portion of the world that belongs to me is these pieces.

 

 

 

Translation: Moones Mansoubi

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Jun 16, 2018 as "Behrouz Boochani – Untitled". Subscribe here.

Behrouz Boochani
is a Kurdish journalist and writer from Ilam in Iran. He is being held on Manus Island.

Continue reading your one free article for the week