The graveyard of plates and spoons.


 Amer Matar
Translation: Joseph Hamoud

When a barrel fell from the sky
On our small neighborhood…the cemetery stretched.
I forgot that day to film the corpses.
No one in the quite realm believed us.
We dug the graves
And we cooked the flesh of the fallen for the media.
We wept bitterly in front of the cameras.
And we buried all the forks and spoons.

  *   *    *

We haven’t buried any of them yet.
We will cook their corpses in the primitive oil derricks.
recycle cold flesh.
Throw the bones to the well’s mouth.
No graveyards anymore.
I plucked out our old cemetery’s tombstones.
And I dragged them along the asphalt.
We recycle oil and cold flesh in old tea pots.
We wash them after each cook.
to drink green tea and diesel.

  *  *  *

On my bedroom’s walls
ears of soldiers who were killed accidently.
I cut them and nailed them in.
I stand before bed time and tell them the story of the red riding hood.
I wipe off the face of my walls
what oozes of blood and pus
I can’t sleep. I hammer the nails deeper.
And tell them the red riding hood story once again.

 *   *   *

The shell went out of the canon
And into my friend’s body
The soldier laughs and I cant do anything.
I pull out my nails and I thrust them into my shoulder.
I am a high ranking officer.
I can laugh louder…
And write poems about the history of platonic love…
On the belly of the shells.



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