Exiles

valpariso

 

Oh you, who remember Jerusalem too well,

Wash sacred rock with your tears.

Whether exile has chosen you or not,

Do not sing of her to one who has seen

A stone is no more than it is.

 

Oh you, who yearn for Yerevan,

Dream empires dead on Byzantine spears,

Do not weep your anguished music

For I have shut my ears.

 

Oh you who lament for Valparaiso,

Beat breasts and break hearts,

I have lost patience with your fears.

 

Why stand bowed beneath the footfalls of history,

Dwell in Fata Morganas on treacherous sand?

This is Exile. Fine, embrace her.

Build your damned cities here, where you stand.

 

If you forget Jerusalem or Yerevan,

It is to build new Valparaisos, frail, green.

Omnivorous hordes threaten from the north, (always from the north.)

My body is a small, caked lime brick in the crooked dam built against the deluge.

 

We bear all the Diasporas

Bound in bloody pasts

Linked in irremediable loss.

Exile is forever, Elsewhere become so vast.

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One thought on “Exiles

  1. This is a beautiful poem, Anna!! It rings so many bells in so many ways!!
    I would love to translate it someday. Please contact me via my website, if you like.
    (I am a poet and literary translator, who has previously contributed to Montreal Serai.)

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