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Poetry

The Well is Someone’s Home

Translated from Indonesian

each time i dig into the well i never reach the bottom. i pass endless broken fragments of age. my breath is too short to climb all the way down, and my gaze too blind to fathom the top. hundreds of prayers fall to earth turning into songs among the barely audible bells.

i call to myself as i disappear in thick dreams. i answer in restless whispers. painful moans write a biography of torn wounds for the scattering sands. have i dug so far and deep? only so that my womb can preserve a ball of silent history.

oh prophet! how distant my shadow seems. how dark time's lane. made increasingly dark by the brightness of the sky's hard face.

Hauptwache, October 2008

Read Dorothea Rosa Herliany's Mother's Letter

English

each time i dig into the well i never reach the bottom. i pass endless broken fragments of age. my breath is too short to climb all the way down, and my gaze too blind to fathom the top. hundreds of prayers fall to earth turning into songs among the barely audible bells.

i call to myself as i disappear in thick dreams. i answer in restless whispers. painful moans write a biography of torn wounds for the scattering sands. have i dug so far and deep? only so that my womb can preserve a ball of silent history.

oh prophet! how distant my shadow seems. how dark time's lane. made increasingly dark by the brightness of the sky's hard face.

Hauptwache, October 2008

Read Dorothea Rosa Herliany's Mother's Letter