1999*, By Leila Samarrai

Painted corpses are unweaving
I have not yet submerged them all
Much like the history of the black scarf
Ready to move time and air

During this
Year of one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine
It is hard to silence the cry above mortuary reports
The woods and the grass still sprout from the once living
Because they are the most reliable

Those who came point-blank from the green memory
And tombs before oblivion
Negotiate with the heavens

We are watched by the living and dead
If the dead weren’t alive
We would all be left without tongue and tribe
Are they not your doubles too

Do perhaps the living originate from weakness
When in absence
They give themselves to each other

By Leila Samarrai

* The poem was written during the bombing of Serbia by NATO, in 1999