I write to the one I love

“I challenge myself: write, your heart is yours regardless of your mother tongue or the tyrant’s language. Rapidly I transform into a brave lover—exactly, I will write to my dearest.”

September 11 2018 Dlovan Kassab, translation by Barrie James Sutcliff

Dlovan Kassab was born in 1972 in Duhok, Iraq. His native language is Kurdish but he communicates in Swedish, English, Kurdish and Arabic. He lives in Sweden and the city Uppsala since 1998.

 

I write to the one I love. I want to describe that warm feeling which created a monument within my body since the very first moment I became aware of my infatuation. I don’t want to write a book, just a letter. I struggle with words, but the letter shouldn’t be long. After this crucial decision that my love letter shouldn’t be long, I begin to write but stop suddenly—in what language should I write? The decision isn’t mine, as the language I’m writing in is not my mother tongue. Once again, I must accept the fact that even the language I master is a forced language, cultivated in my mind and body since childhood—the great emperor’s language, even God’s. 

 

I see a vision of love and a great longing take over me. Now, yes now, I will write. But my beloved does not understand my language and not even the emperor’s, who was great. Yet another decision must be made, that of finding a common language. I discover the language belonging to an old occupier. I try not to brood any more, since the only thing I wish is for my beloved to be aware of the depth of my love and longing. I further embrace this old occupier’s language as that of a once mighty tyrant, and then write about my love and my unbridled longing. I don’t want to write a book, nor a long letter, there’s no shame if the letter will be short. 

 

I convince myself that my heart is mine and my feelings are mine and only I can know my longing and this love that has taken over my mind. I challenge myself: write, your heart is yours regardless of your mother tongue or the tyrant’s language. Rapidly I transform into a brave lover—exactly, I will write to my dearest. 

 

Quickly, I get out my smartphone, idiotically fumbling after my beloved’s address, and then fast as lightning I send my letter. I make yet another decision and give up on words, and search instead for a symbol, an emoji, I choose a heart, a flirting man, a flower, and a kiss. Just before I come up with an even more brilliant way to express my longing, the answer comes. The answer is considerably shorter than my letter, the answer consists of only a heart and a happy man. At last, I embrace my dearest with a body that has been stripped of any regime and a head filled with languages from all over. Because the hearts are ours, and the longing belongs to us. 

 

Three cheers for hearts, and long live emoji.