Emmanuel Boundzekei-Dongala: Fantasy Under the Moon

Fantasy Under the Moon

(Blues for a muted trumpet)

I climbed towards you on a ray of moonlight
that filtered through a hole in my straw-thatched house
When I had reached the smiling arch of your mouth among
                                                                                          the stars
you came to me
open under the sea of your body the heaving wave under
                                                                                          my body
my heart beating to the rhythm of yours moving to the
                        rhythm of your tribe the people of the mountain;
your serpent form writhing beneath mine
I sucked your cobra’s poison from your broken lips
and my fever mounted like a sickness.
I visited last night our banana grove for the first time.
When I reached those great somber aisles
under which we pressed each other beyond your mother’s
                                                                                           knowledge
under the teasing trumpet of thirsty mosquitoes
the circle of my arms about your shadow your phantom
all at once hung emptier than the rope of a wine-tapper
embracing the palm tree.

I don’t know why that large cloud crossing the moon
suddenly made the tide of your body fall.
Like oiled wrestlers at a festival
who feel their adversary slide between their arms
powerless I felt you slip from mine
powerless under the moon’s light white as this wine as your teeth
                                                                                which made you so gay
as you fluttered wildly in the circle of the dance
while your mother warned you not to come near me.

I looked up at the sky from the depths of my hut;
the moon was only a smile, your white smile congealed.

Translated by Gerald Moore & Ulli Beier

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