Noir, une lumière

There  is a  sorceress in our night.  A  sky  that  only  moves  memory to make
place  for  the  mangoes of last month.  There is an old man who says,  Libére
moi.  And  means,  Take  everything   but  my  blackness.  Only  in the dark do
doves  find   reason.  Only  in  the  dark  do  doves  have  reason to believe that
vengeance  is  light  hanging  on  fallen  tree.  After each  fall, we  ask, where is
the   island,   the  sugarcane  that  disappeared  in  our hunger,  the  water that
emptied  our  thirst,  the  song   that  robbed  our  nightmare?   They  mock  us.
They  tell  us to  whisper in their ears.  They will obey.  But  curses  beat  the air
wild.  The air is faint.  And they tell us, Stop plotting fire. You are in the wrong
land even if the roosters recognize you. They hated our black. What they didn't
understand is that it illuminates their world.

Nathalie Handal, "Noir, une lumiere" from The Republics. Copyright © 2015 by Nathalie Handal.  Reprinted by permission of University of Pittsburgh Press.
Source: The Republics (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015)
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