The dark has taken root on all four walls

By and | 2 February 2001

Translated with Peter Boyle

“The dark has taken root on all four walls”
— Kevin Hart, ‘Room’

Holding fast to this line of Kevin Hart
through their deep roots I enter
the experience of those prison days.
Once more I walk the heart’s split road.

Wall One

The body’s routine is crucified by the dark
as I receive my political sentence.
I grasp these memories tightly
like a line on the cell wall farewelling an unending day.

Wall Two

In the dark the wakeful mind can’t distinguish
sleep from dream.
All I can feel is how I am bound
to the mountain’s sheer most difficult rockface.
I hold on to the roots of memory
once more with no shout, no howl of humanity,
only my wounded mind enters that darkness
to gather fragments of my most private battle.

Wall Three

I sever the roots of my sentence, plant seeds of love,
once more rise up to ancient fragrance of creation,
leave behind my actor’s mask in the street theatre of 1976
on the stagedrop of pure air.

I am here with all my body,
all my life
opening the light that comes from one in solitary confinement
on dictatorship’s cell wall.

Wall Four

I wake up smothered in darkness
yet sheltered by the prayers of my grandparents and mother.
I receive the morning breeze
like a resurrection from all the wounds that set their roots
down in my life.

Outside, immense rain falls on the enduring face of the dark I was.

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