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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

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