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An Asefru for a People

to my friend Samir, an Algerian Berber, during a civil war

In his eyes there’s a continent that’s struggling and winning,
cultures that are waiting impatiently for the moment,
silent mountains that are preparing themselves for the sea,
memories here and there like fixed lights.

They sent him a note at home to warn him... otherwise...
from that moment he became a clandestine person of time ;
and wherever he went
he was far from home which he rejected,
and wanted.

In his eyes there is a new, petrified conviction,
there’s a shadow in which there’s an armed robber hidden away;
a register of precarious faces, cancelled,
struggling against a sun that wants him to forget.

Inside him there’s a lit up city, planning, boiling from within,
on whom spent out aliens descend;
and all he wanted
in the middle of this blackness
was to go,
and he left.

In the commotion
he left half a person behind forever;
he only took with him the hope that he would at least be able to pick up a little essence,
a few pieces.

(“Asefru” in Berber means poem)