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This poem is taken from PN Review 187, Volume 35 Number 5, May - June 2009.

Three Poems (translated by Marilyn Hacker) Vénus Khoury-Ghata
The tree that got loose from the forest can’t mend our fence

can’t fill the silence of our beehive
a worried loaf of bread has seized our table
the cricket’s rusty wings no longer make a sound
And yet yesterday the house walked in the same direction as the road and the trains
followed the smoke’s black breath as it divided the forest into two clans
Yesterday
the oak, oaken as he was, weighed himself down with our roof when the shutters left for the season

House that’s still a house despite its door creeping along the ground and its furniture narrow as hermits’ tombstones
Pebbles lined up on the threshold are landmarks for lost walls

House which conjugates war in every tense
the mad brother ate the windows and belched up glass slivers
the mother imprisoned in a cube devoured the snow down to its roots
deaf grass grew along the moulding
we would reap it in September after the noise-harvest to stock up for winter
after the harvesters departed, leaving us their arms but taking summer away in their armpits
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