When I wander oblivious among the buildings
I see future sacrifices emerge,
I would like to adhere to some artifice,
Rediscover hope through furniture shopping

Or believe in Islam, feel a very gentle God
Who would guide my feet, take me on holiday,
I cannot forget that scent of departure
Between our brusque words, our unravelling lives.

The evening process feeds the hours,
There is no one left to record our complaints;
Between each stubbed-out cigarette,
The forgetting process defines happiness.

Someone has designed the curtains’ fabric
And someone has thought up the gray blanket
In whose folds my body goes still;
I will not know the softness of the grave.


Translated from the French by Gavin Bowd

CAUTION: Users are warned that the Work appearing herein is protected under copyright laws and reproduction of the text, in any form for distribution is strictly prohibited. The right to reproduce or transfer the Work via any medium must be secured with the copyright owner.

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Access one piece of artwork every month for free! To experience the full archive, log in or subscribe.

Related Poetry

Before Entering


Jeanine Hathaway

Psalm Ghazal I & II


Joanna Solfrian

Dark Talent


Natasha Oladokun

an open window casts blue sunlight upon a white bed, behind it the wooden paneling is split in two colors by the light. a lamp with a green shade hangs over the middle of the bed. on top of the bedframe is a small window that reflects the mirror with the white curtains and the turquoise blue shadow-lit light spilling in.

What Is Offered


Margaret Gibson

Pin It on Pinterest