Three Drunks in a Bar
The dovetailed glass dissolved their voices.
The bundle of light hunted their dreams like butterflies.
And echo, like an old promise,
carved their forms in the dust.
While the three of them climbed their tobacco stairs,
marvels patiently sought a niche in the wall.
And as they climbed they left behind the marks
one finds on the corpses of hunted birds.
And when they left, they left the place to itself
empty and meaningless, loose and unchained.
At the end of the night they didn’t laugh or blink.
At night’s end they were so silent
that they couldn’t hear the city
scream in its sleep.
And they couldn’t hear the day
that trekked like blind water
on the edge of a dam.
(Translated by Fady Joudah)