And I saw the face,
Beaming with warmhearted hope,
Luminous, in perfect proportions,
His head on his wife’s lap,
Sprinkling water on his head.
Despite his agony, writhing in the throes of death,
He smiled when he saw me.
I forgot all about death, obliviousness, and incarceration.
Ibrahim El-Salahi: Jail is what is accepted by oneself. There are different ways that a person can accept what is happening to him or to her. If you accept it for yourself, you are imprisoning yourself. But you can be free. If you are imprisoned not by yourself but by other people, there will be a time when everything will vanish.
Publication excerpt from Ibrahim El-Salahi. Prison Notebook, 1976. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2018.