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Under the Rubble

We held our breath close to our bodies
sorted words in a straitjacket
our lives between parentheses
turpentine to make hope last
fear sets up a tent
on our chest
fog invades our minds
paralyzes our limbs 
 
Day holds night’s hand
evenings play merry-go-round with mornings
the days turn in circles 
until they feel dizzy
we forget all debts, all promises
projects overflow like water springs
the earth sips in with a straw
 
Clocks are unwinding
under life’s rubble
our voices engraved on text messages
a colony of ants bring us news
daredevils armed with shovel 
and pickax
scrape gravel with fingernails
faithfully, block after block 
hope pursues a hunchbacked miracle 
at the end of a tunnel
 
“Anba dekonm” © 2012 by Guy-Gérald Ménard. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2013 by Chantal Kenol. All rights reserved.