January 1, Dawn

Luljeta Lleshanaku

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After the celebrations,

people, TV channels, telephones,

the year’s recently-corrected digit

finally falls asleep.

 

Between the final night and the first dawn

a jagged piece of sky

as if viewed from the open mouth of a whale.

Inside her belly and inside the belly of time,

there’s no point worrying.

You glide gently along. She knows her course.

Inside her, you are digested slowly, painlessly. 

 

And if you’re lucky, like Jonah,

at some point she’ll spit you out on dry land

along with heaps of inorganic waste.

 

Everything sleeps. A sweet hypothermic sleep.

But those few still awake

might hear the melancholy creaking of a wheelbarrow,

someone stealing stones from a ruin

to build new walls just a few feet away.

Luljeta Lleshanaku, “January 1, Dawn” from Negative Space. English translation copyright © 2018 by Ani Gjika. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Source: Negative Space (Bloodaxe Books, 2018)