by Yannick Dangre


For decades you’ve refused to budge,

I’ve carried you with silent ease

along with the speaking dead in my back pocket.


I’ve known you for so long: your proud eyes

of a jilted woman, your torn

lips, your sly caresses with fingers

of Bible paper. Here they don’t kill

without the right religion.


Every day I ask myself who forgets the first stone,

why the whole world has for years stood screaming

at your bedside and I too sit dividing you by cafés

into no place like home. And meanwhile

children daily smash the windows of their immortality.


For decades I’ve refused to budge

and while drops of blood fall from your fingers

I lay with a sigh a second wind in your hands.

From Night and Navel (2017); translated by Paul Vincent