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Erri De Luca, translated by Patrick Williamson

[Watched over by guards]

Watched over by guards, we are guilty of journeying,
more room than the boat, dollops of water, no one’s hungry.

I look for the elder to ask if this courtyard
of blocked passage is communism.

Then I remember, I closed his dry eyes
with clouds inside instead of thoughts.

This is not communism, but a pen and we’re cattle.
And even less than this, says one of a thousand.

We are neither of milk nor of meat.
But we are of work. They don’t want us, end of story.

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