They Spoke to Me

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Translated from the French by Mary Ann Caws

They said to me no, don’t take any, no, don’t touch, that is burning
hot. No, don’t try to touch, to hold, that weighs too much, that
hurts.

They said to me: Read, write. And I tried, I took up a word, but it
struggled, it clucked like a frightened hen, wounded, in a cage of
black straw, spotted with old traces of   blood.

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