In Memoriam…

We present this work in honor of the 5th anniversary of the poet’s death.

Lili Bita
1935 – 2018


Asia Minor, 1922

Don’t look at the sun
with pleasure.
Don’t cry, or even curse.
Before you touch
the yellowed clippings
make a shroud
of your palms
and tell the story

She lies on the bed.
There aren’t any sheets,
only a gnawed pillowcase
and a mattress stained
with urine and feces
the only witness
of decades of silence.

Don’t look at the sun
with pleasure,
don’t cry or even curse.
Look at the ropes
looped double
over ankles and wrists
tied to the posts,
the body spread-eagled
as in Da Vinci’s drawing,
lashed to the bed.

Look at her puberty,
the black camellia
plucked from the roots
of its innocence,
the fragile petals
scattered on the bloody pulp,
the red trickle threading
its decades to reach us.

Look at the torn sky
until the girl
in the yellowed clipping
escapes with a flower
in her hand.

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