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After the celebrations,

people, TV channels, telephones,

the year’s recently corrected digit

finally fall asleep.

Between the final night and the first dawn

a jagged piece of sky

as if viewed from the open mouth of a whale.

Inside her belly and inside the belly of time,

there’s no point worrying.

You glide gently along. She knows her course.

Inside her, you are digested slowly, painlessly.

And if you’re lucky, like Jonah,

at some point she’ll spit you out on dry land

along with heaps of inorganic waste.

Everything sleeps. A sweet hypothermic sleep.

But those few still awake

might hear the melancholy creaking of a wheelbarrow,

someone stealing stones from a ruin

to build new walls just a few feet away.”

January 1, Dawn

Ani Gjika, translation from
the Albanian written by Luljeta Lleshanaku

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