Denis Emorine

5 poems from "Those Words that Make Time Bleed"


You see the dead again goggle-eyed
in the ruins
and the astonishment
of the living
with child-like eyes
still to exist

At the end of the tunnel
the sun salutes
those who are going to kill
to kill again


In the recognized warmth
the taste of death
suddenly appeased
is no longer the same

At the end of the gun
always the same scene
as in the cinema
the bodies crumple one after the other
blood has such a particular smell
that of forbidden games
In your sleep
the charnel-houses pass by where
the twisted bodies
always have the same posture
as if
astonished to be there
and to have been blasted so quickly


They advance step by step
You might think they were
children playing
hunted animals
but they
do not kill
to feed themselves


I have lost my address
on a lovely summer's day
I remember
the countryside was so beautiful on that day
here and there
some smashed houses were smoking still
four or five blackened corpses punctuated the landscape
with the black veil
of crows at work

I have lost my address I tell you
I lived in Auschwitz
or Grozny I believe
but why
mention death
I ask you
is everywhere
at home


There are no more words
to use for war
the murderers took them away
with them
to bury them further away
there where
the shores of oblivion start
and finish

Translated from the French by Brian Cole