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
Forgive me, my bird, as I am not able to embrace you.
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 June 16, 2018 as "Behrouz Boochani – Untitled".
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