May 27, 2022

Hope Dissidents - tr. Sara Elkamel

 When we die,

the cemetery keeper tires
of surveilling our graves’ windows.

We trace the memory of rain —

but it dances in the distance
where the lilies quake the earth
until its dreams unwind.

When my grandfather burned his cave,
the demons came out to meet him
with wedding preparations.

And as the dream verged on a nightmare,
he danced; my mother’s tail
bowing to the nudeness of silence.

I have resigned myself to hymns,
unlike my grandfather;
winter villages ignite in his heart
every bakery, a long way
from the sounds of hope.

Our roof embraces a crew
of honorable dead people.

Near the bends of light
my grandmother briefly abandons her modesty
to bake the past’s dough
for a Reader of Nostalgia,
who takes everything she wants from her
yet prescribes she swallow
more sadness
for her grandchildren’s sake.

That’s why, grandmother,
don’t approach the catacombs of hope;
we are but its dissidents.

* Published in GUERNICA magazine. 

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