This morning I plunged into the arms of death. I immersed myself in wisdom. In the silence the secret the mystery of Carthage. The roots of a palm tree bury a Tophet. * In the shadow of a palm grove lay the tombs of dead children A female cat, in a hieratic pose at the far end of the site stares fixedly at me. The Punic palm trees are rigidly penitent. In the movement of the ground the stones do battle with the roots. Both : conquerors and conquered are intertwined. * Fig trees, date palms, or immense jerids are prostrated towards ground. The most ancient site of Phoenician conquests welcomes one of their survivors. They bequeath to others their vain battles. * Young infant boys in their thousands have received a stele in their memory. The girls do not measure up; they do not appease the cannibal sources. When the town was in danger cruel kings weighed upon its conscience the weight of an elephant. * The sign of the goddess-mother Tanit haloed by a lunar crescent watches over its grief. The same female cat a real ancestor appears at the other end of the site. This time she smiles at me. When I lifted my head she had disappeared.
Extract from Le rire de l’eau (Le Noroît, Montréal, 2004)
Translated from french by Christine Tipper