A poem by award winning poet Sumia Jaama.
‘How the river, running, runs out of itself'
Pablo Neruda. 'There is No Forgetting (Sonata)'
Translated by Forrest Gander
/static/ awoowe's voice is an alien airwave.
You’re stretching in Southend
/static/ in Scheveningen —extending an arm,
/static/ an antenna.
Heavy waves break into white foam on this shore,
/static/ on his mouth. Your name is a boat sailing.
Lost in translation
/static/ lost at sea.
Never mind you could swim’
/static/ sing Soomaaliyeey toosoo since 97.
You chase a wave till it swallows
you. Hanging at the rear
Your voice is the end of the sky
—an absent airwave.
A Barbican Young Poet Alumni (2017-18), Sumia Jaama is a linguist and programmer. Sumia often writes about exploring absence and what there is to discover about blank spaces in relation to ourselves. She has a BA in Arabic and English literature, and often runs workshops in secondary schools, festivals and as part of Keats House's Creative Writing Summer School.