from Shadow-World

Roselyne Sibille

I Write to You from the Other Side of the Shadow

I write to you from the other side of the shadow
I write to you
          so I do not vanish
          so the words reveal me
          so you hear more than the void

Latitudes flee

The plural slipped through my fingers with certitudes
Latitudes flee into the tremors of the river

When the shadow leans towards smoke
does it lend
               to the void?

The Shadow Moans

The shadow steps forward in the fleeing reflection
sheer and slender
scarcely backing
leaning against time

How does one imagine the shadow of night?

The shadow knows not where the bridges stand
seeks its doppelganger                            and the breath
echoes a cry                                   thick and grey

The shadow awaits the porthole

The moon
on my head

Barbwire in your mouth

Barbwire in your mouth

The words clench
seek an exit
straighten up

The syllables strewn                       straying         unstable
crave to be              accrue the impossible
sail adrift from a world whose language we understand no more

You give up
You sip them                       behind your eyelashes

Days and days and aimless phrases

What alchemy was helplessly at play
that beneath the chestnut tree
your gaze should regain
the clarity of lakes in Chile
the softness of a dawn bare after the night of storm?

translated from the French by Karthika Naïr