Maybe love is a walk to astonishment.
Or a ship stranded on the shore of oblivion.
The infinity in the atom,
the treasures found in a word from long ago, now retrieved,
and the mind’s chamber so luminous
it sees nothing but you.
Soul of my heart and my eyes’ lanterns.
My loved one’s hair is tangled
like a tumble weed, soft as down.
My gazelle and the music in her walk.
My freckled wonder. My apricot.
Maybe these are the heart’s cymbals that guide its trance:
Rouhi. Gharami. Ishqi. Ahla ayami.
Maybe to say “I love you”
in another language
is not to love you at all.
Hear me say it, Habibti.
I say: N’hibik.
About this poem
This poem, representing Libya, is part of The Written World – our collaboration with BBC radio to broadcast a poem from every single nation competing in London 2012.