Two Hours on the Train

Abdellatif Laâbi

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During two hours on the train

I rerun the film of my life

Two minutes per year on average

Half an hour for childhood

Another half-hour for prison

Love, books, wandering

take up the rest

the hand of my companion

gradually melts into mine

and her head on my shoulder

is as light as a dove

When we arrive

I’ll be fifty or so

and still have

about an hour

to live

Abdellatif Laâbi “Two Hours on the Train,” from In Praise of Defeat. English language copyright © 2016 by Donald Nicholson-Smith. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Source: In Praise of Defeat (Archipelago Books, 2016)