Thursday, 13 April 2017

Emerald Dunes - Ketty Nivyabandi

From the depths of misty silences
The night’s last secrets are enfolded
Within the numb necks of old roosters
While the watchmen shamefully doze
Great women rise up,
Skies bend down at the sight
The four corners of the earth
But most of all, most of all
The burning sun who, having circled
The world every night
Dozes in their swollen breasts
There have been many others,
Bigger,
More famous, too
But never more elegant
One by one they rise
And unleash
A long velvety tongue
That slowly unrolls
Gishora
Banga
Higiro
Nkondo
Karera
Mbuye
Nyabihanga
Mugera
Fota
It’s not that they are the most beautiful
Sparkling like banana and eucalyptus
With these silver blades that tilt down
And drape over their breast each morning
And these epics ascending from their meager huts
It’s only fair that they belong to me
Flowing through the streams of my veins
Yesterday and tomorrow
Majestic
Lavish
Audacious
Emerald dunes
Bleeding over the lines of my palms.

Ketty Nivyabandi (born 1978) Burundi
Translated by David Shook
Source: World Literature Today

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