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Manifestations of Water

Works in Translation / Excerpt

Nukila Amal, translated by Toni Pollard
Published as a part of Asymptote Journal – July 2023, Jul 01, 2023

Originally published as Jelmaan-Jelmaan Air.

Syam, unlike his name, which means the sun in Arabic, is not a sun person. He’s the antithesis of light and all things bright. In a painting, for example, he’s not the figure in the center ablaze with light standing heroically, hands on hips, but rather a silhouette, shrouded in black, leaning in a corner. A silhouette observing everything around him, both inside and outside the painting.

Syam is a shadowy person. What dazzles about him are his mind and his eyes. His eyes keenly observe the faces and behavior of the people around him. Piercing and brilliant, their unsheathed power often makes people uncomfortable, and deep down they regard him as annoying or frightening. His eyes can remain unblinking for some time, staring at whoever is speaking in front of him. When he’s like that, only he and God know what he’s thinking.

Read the full story here.

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