In a Remote Village

Rami Saari

In Albanian, a living room is a “friends’ room,”
and in this house there is only one windowless room
with a single wooden door to the outside.
This is how they’ve always built here,
you’re happy to tell me:
for fear of strangers and bloodletting. Even today
the world is sly and cruel,
life a hostile environment. Yet in the middle of the room
a fire burns, black coffee steams and boils.
You pour, glance and see: night won’t be
an island of sleep. Four will lie down on this floor—
your brothers, and you , and my body (from the four winds
I alone was meant to arrive in this remote village).
There’ll be no rest in the friends’ room, just
a bit of comfort and we’ll go on our way;
the nights piling exhausted around us
won’t quiet our blood.

Translated from Hebrew by Lisa Katz

Angel Fire
ALBANIAN POETRY translated by Saari to Hebrew
ALBANIAN PROSE translated by Saari to Hebrew
Rami Saari’s page

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