fingers of a year


Nadia Tuéni
Oh Nocturnal weavings,
the Voyagers of the Orient count your courtesies
upon the fingers of a year.

The wind and its allies
open themselves up just like a woman.
And all speaks of all.
The sounds I imagine are rivers or sobs.
Oh night sun as free as death,
as at that instant when each observes the other.
That is why I have stolen away underneath my tongue a land,
and kept it there like a host.


O Nuits élaborées
les Voyageurs d’Orient comptent vos politesses
sur les doigts d’une année.

Le vent et ses alliés
s’ouvrent tels une femme.
Et tout parle de tout.
Les bruits que j’imagine sont rivière ou sanglot.
O soleil de la nuit libre comme la mort,
on dirait cet instant où chacun se regarde.
Aussi ai-je enfermé sous ma langue un pays,
gardé comme une hostie.

fresco of hate


Nadia Tuéni
I lived in the house opposite
opposite the war and the Garden
of buried dead and rose bushes,
forgotten ancestors in the movement of a path,
in a cubic space of memory.
Beneath the balcony of an eye, half a body,
the other forming an angle on the pavement.
Half a body, lone sign upon my fresco of hate.


J’habitais la maison d’en face,
face à la guerre et au Jardin,
de morts plantés et de rosiers,
ancêtres oubliés dans la dynamique d’une allée,
dans un cube de mémoire.
Sous le balcon d’un oeil, une moitié de corps,
l’autre formant un angle sur le trottoir.
Une moitié de corps, signe isolé sur ma fresque de haine.

make me real


Nadia Tuéni

Was I born of a lie
in a country that did not exist?

Am I one tribe at the confluence of two opposing bloods?

But perhaps I am not.
But of course I am not, your equations prove it,
even while lowering my voice I do not hear the sea,
nor do I hear the light.
Who will make me real?
Threatened, therefore living,
Wounded, therefore being,
Fearful, therefore frightening,
Erect, therefore a flame tree.

Who will make me real?


Suis-je né d’un mensonge
dans un pays qui n’existait pas ?

Suis-je tribu au confluent de sangs contraires ?

Mais peut-être ne suis-je pas.
Certes je ne suis pas, vos équations le disent,
même en baissant la voix je n’entends pas la mer,
ni n’entends la lumière.
Qui me rendra présent ?
Menacé, donc vivant,
blessé, donc étant
peureux, donc effrayant,
debout, donc flamboyant.

Qui me rendra présent ?

Photo by Greg Becker on Unsplash

shot against the light


If only I had known sooner, I could have known and learned so much more. But as usual, I only learned about the connection at the end, when all the hidden material folded outwards – all the clumsy lies.

Nothing but a Man
Nadia Tuéni
Nothing but a man
let’s execute him against the door.
The morning of taking him away was robed
with the freshness of water;
it would be best to finish him off
against a door of blue wood.
His knees were knees of water
a forehead of oak under the rain.
He told me: ” talk
of this flower dying according to the curve
of a thought,
of oblivion it offers in the shelter of
the sun,
and of multiplied love”. . .
We shot him against the light
and let hatred rise like baked bread.
Maybe I’ll weep for him.
It was simple in the deep earth
and brief.