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from the January 2013 issue: Writing from Haiti

Under the Rubble

Anba Dekonm

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.

Anba Dekonm

Nou kenbe souf nou toupre kò n
lote pawòl nan kòse jistokò
lavi n anndan parantèz
terebantin pou fè lespwa dire
laperèz monte tant  
sou kòf lestomak nou
bouya anvayi sèvo n
paralize tout manm nou
 
Lajounen kenbe men lannuit
leswa fè wonn ak lematen
jou yo fè laviwonn jouk yo sou 
nou bliye dèt bliye pwonmès
pwojè defofile tankou sous dlo 
tè ap souse nan chalimo
 
Revèy ap pèdi chenn
anba dekonm lavi
vwa nou grave sou SMS
foumi pote nouvèl ban nou
brave danje manche pèl ak pikwa
grate ranblè ak zong 
blòk pa blòk san depasyante
lespwa rapousuiv mirak bosi
nan fon tinèl
 
 
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