Grey stone without forest.
Tongue. Sedan.

Author: Christine Marendon
Translator: Ken Cockburn

Grey stone without forest.

Grey stone without forest.
The gardener may
not dig there.

Grey stone: a reflection of us.

You sleep badly, sense
the wakefulness and sleep
in others’ eyes.

I really think it’s
the animal we can’t
leave in peace.

Will I unknot myself?
That it’s this – this –
I don’t know about myself
is weirdly lovely.

Do you remember?
Oh, I remember all right:

To lose sight of
the Amazon region
would look like tears.


Tongue. Sedan.

I didn’t know this corner of
the country. I was sent a letter
asking me to come. I’m coming,
I cried, and lost my luggage before I’d
even set out, including the book, a
present and the card with greetings from my town:
eating strawberries in the necropolis. Haste
urged memory, which way, can you
remember? I had to sleep, slept
on the journey, in my sleep I dreamed that
in my sleep I found flowers and thought of
bringing a little something: that’s the usual
thing away from home. Dreamed that,
arriving, I was handed bowls
the flesh was tender, red as cactusflower
empty-handed and sound asleep
I was carried over the border.

Originals © Christine Marendon
Translations © Ken Cockburn