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To the Serpent

Aime Cesaire

I have had occasion in the bewilderment of cities to search for the right animal to adore. So I worked my way back to the first times. Undoing cycles untying knots crushing plots removing covers killing hostages I searched.
Ferret. Tapir. Uprooter.
Where where where the animal who warned me of floods
Where where where the bird who led me to honey
Where where where the bird who revealed to me the fountainheads
the memory of great alliances betrayed great friendships lost through our fault exalted me
Where where where
Where where where
The word made vulgar to me
O serpent sumptuous back do you enclose in your sinuous lash the powerful soul of my grandfather?
Greetings to you serpent through whom morning shakes its beautiful mango mauve December chevelure and for whom the milk-invented night tumbles its luminous mice down its wall
Greetings to you serpent grooved like the bottom of the sea and which my heart truly unbinds for us like the premise of the deluge
Greetings to you serpent your reputation is more majestic than their gait and the peace their God gives not you hold supremely.

Serpent delirium and peace

over the hurdles of a scurrilous wind the countryside dismembers for me secrets whose steps resounded at the outlet of the millenary trap of gorges that they tightened to strangulation.

to the trashcan! may they all rot in portraying the banner of a black crow weakening in a beating of white wings.
Serpent
broad and royal disgust overpowering the return in the sands of deception
spindrift nourishing the vain raft of the seagull
in the pale tempest of reassuring silences you the least frail warm yourself
You bathe yourself this side of the most discordant cries on the dreamy spumes of grass
when fire is exhaled from the widow boat that consumes the cape of the echo’s flash
just to make your successive deaths shiver all the more—green frequenting of the elements—your threat.

Your threat yes your threat body issuant from the raucous haze of bitterness where it corrupted the concerned lighthouse keeper and that whistling takes its little gallop time toward the assassin rays of discovery.

Serpent
charming biter of womens’ breasts and through whom death steals into the maturity in the depths of a fruit sole lord lord alone whose multiple image places on the strangler fig’s altar the offering of a chevelure that is an octopodal threat a sagacious hand that does not pardon cowards

From: 
Aime Césaire: The Collected Poetry



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