Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Gregory Djanikian: Questions for a Late Night

And what if the soldiers came
shouting and clattering, pulling you
out of your house for the journey
which had no clear destination?

What if the road you had to follow
looking for fruit trees, spring water,
had to be imagined each morning,
no jacarandas offering you shade,
the deserts wafting you
like a husk in the simoom?

What if the granaries were leveled, the rivers dry,
young girls bruised in the thighs,
the bird-like men without feet?

What would the darkness bring you—
wolf howls, hoof beats
sticking you like needles—
if all you wanted of it
was a place to enter, disguised
from the smallest reflection?

What if there were no night,
the heavens dismantled, the earth
lit by a hundred suns?

What if you were the perpetual witness
walking without sleep
where everyone desired it
and no one dared close his eyes?

What words could you say
to remember the sound of breakage?
In what place would you touch your body

to feel your body touching you back? 

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