Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

The stones in your garden

Vénus Khoury-Ghata

The stones in your garden speak louder than the people passing by
they claim an ancestry that goes back to the first cave
when two flintstones controlled fire
and a pauper wind swept the brambles of an alphabet gone deaf

Things being what they were
you had only to grasp a stone in your hand to feel the planet’s vibrations
sense a volcano’s insurrection
the cry of a mountain collapsed by an ant

Hold back your hand when the sunset draws its last circle on your wall
the sun is not a drum
and the discussion between darkness and asphalt doesn’t concern you
     while your shadow follows you by a finger and an eye
You walk and your destinations print themselves on your feet

Translated from the French by Marilyn Hacker