A poem by Mohammed Khaïr-Eddïne, translated from the French by Conor Bracken.

to white desert—and your trigonocephalic snout ties
to our sights which have never heard have maybe mesmerized
the shudder of dead lilies and fevers—o hoodlum
limed with blood—over your face I lay a yellow dawn
I daylight the crimes of spring
and the prowling towns gnawing on the wind
whose white sabot violates each moon born by April
the hand to hand measures the abyss where the green woman
hides—and us?
distraught and distressing—while our vacant hands
exterminate the scant beaches in our chests

the wet snout inoculates a delirium of swallows
and step by step our faces object to then delete
the brassline of wasps and shudders—out
of the pothole of spring
nails and plinths turn to face me
but I observe it all from the closed fist of time
while her spangled breasts roll over my face—
a poem
without starting a new paragraph
without me barking
nuptial myriad of white ants
shattering the outrageous balances of rare eclipses
new skin—and sky our teeth
singing out the ounces of ruined centuries
against the face of a flying dog—hello vermin
vermillion virtue—let us dance
on the crests of stars poorly serenaded—this is
making me a morning dove
my mouth of kohl and white iron—which
isn’t to say—the rising sap accepts the twists
I give the olive tree of your hips—
we are padlocked cages—are smoke—the place
where streams maroon their sacks of sun

© Editions Gallimard, Paris, 2009

Mohammed Khaïr Eddïne & Conor Bracken