Let Us Talk

First, we will bury you in the sand,
with your head free to speak
about mutual understanding, about peace;
 
first, we will make your field our own,
station soldiers between mine and thine,
direct the camera from our side;
 
first, we will count our dead
from the past two thousand years
and justify the beating,
 
and wipe the spit from our hands
and declare—it's clear as day;
you want no peace in this land.


Translation of "Laat ons praten," from the series "Na Auschwitz." First published in Knack, January 28, 2009, and in Gaza. Geschiedenis van de Palestijnse tragedie (Berchem: Lucas Catherine & Charles Ducal, EPO, 2009). Copyright 2009 Charles Ducal. By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2010 Dustin Benner. All rights reserved.