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BREYTENBACH, Breyten


rebel song

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give me a pen
so I may sing
that life is not in vain
 
give me a season
an autumn a spring
to see sky with open eyes
when the peach tree vomits its white plenitude
a tyranny will be brought to earth
 
let mothers lament;
may breasts become dry
and wombs shrivel
when the scaffold finally weans its own
 
give me that love
which won't rot between fingers,
give me a love like this love I must give you,
my dove

grant me a heart
that will pulsate its throb
more strongly than the white thrashing
heart of a terrified dove in the dark
knock louder than bitter bullets

give me a heart
small fountain of blood
to spout blossoms of bliss
for blood is never for naught
 
I need to die before I'm dead
when my heart is still fertile and red
before I eat the darkened soil of doubt
 
give me two lips
and bright ink for tongue
to write the earth
one vast love letter
swollen with the milk of mercy
 
sweeter day by day
spilling all bitterness
burning as summer
burns sweeter
 
then let it be summer
without blindfolds or ravens
allow the gallows to give the peach tree
its red fruit of satisfaction
 
and grant me a love song
of doves of atonement
so I may sing my life was not in vain

for as I die
to wide eyes
under sky
my red song will not lie
my red song will never die