Indran Amirthanayagam

Cherlie Rivage

Tu as marché nue dans mes rêves ( You walked naked in my dreams): Cherlie Rivage, translated by Indran Amirthanayagam

Tu as marché nue dans mes rêves Et depuis tout est devenu interdit Traînée de paroles qui se flanche Pour semer nos gestes d’amour A l’œil dévié d’un monde qui ne sait pas aimer Nous sommes faites pour être libres Libre de s’aimer Nous sommes faites pour s’aimer Librement. T’aimer c’est le mieux que je puisse faire toute ma vie. Rien d’autre. Je t’aime jusqu’à braver les interdits puisque deux femmes ne peuvent pas s’aimer. Et ca me suffit. Une fois. Et je te veux encore. Tu es le début et la fin de mes poèmes. Je ne veux plus de poèmes. Car je t’ai toi. Le jour viendra où les passants ramasseront chaque baiser qu’on a semé sur la route. Ils verront que je porte ta marque avec mon âme agenouillé à tes pieds. Tes pieds mes seuls et uniques repère. Les places publiques se feront témoin de notre Oui et seront complice de nos joies. Et je t’aimerai au nom de toutes les églises. Toi ma Croix, Mon chapelet, Mon adorable péché, Et cent mille autres. Tu as marché dans mes rêves. Et depuis la sexualité est devenu arc-en-ciel Elle se fait et se défait Naturelle Sans sexe Sans nom Sans pays Sans culture Sans couleur Sans visage. Oui tu as marché dans mes rêves Nue Et Depuis j’ai appris à tout cacher. Des fêlures de lune jusqu’à ton rire Libre et jeune Que j’ai caché sous mes bras pour que la tempête des interdits ne l’emporte pas, Afin que toi et moi Nous puissions s’aimer Jusqu’à creuser de grands trous Dans les silences endormis Des mots.

You walked naked in my dreams. Since then everything has been prohibited. A drag of words that fall away. To sow our gestures of love. In the diverted eye of a world that knows not how to love. We are made to be free. Free to love each other. Made to love each other freely. To love you is the best I can do in all my life. Nothing else. I love you until I break through the thou shalt nots that a woman cannot love another woman. This is sufficient. Once. And I want you again. You are the beginning and the end of my poems. I don’t want any more poems. I have you. The day will come when passersby gather every kiss sowed on the roads. They will see that I carry your mark on its knees at your feet. Your feet are my only and unique marker. Public places will become witnesses to our relation. Yes, and they will be accomplices in our joys. And I will love you in the name of all the churches. You are my cross. My rosary. My adorable sin. And one hundred thousand others. You walked in my dreams. And since then, sexuality has become a rainbow. It is made and unmade. Natural. Without sex. Without a name. Without a county. Without culture. Without color. Without a face. Yes, you walked in my dreams.. Naked. And afterwards I learned to hide everything. From cracks of the moon to your smile. Free and young. I hid under my arms so that the storm of forbiddens forbidden does not take our love away. So that you and I we can love each other until we dig big holes in the sleeping silences of words.

Indran Amirthanayagam writes poetry in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Haitian Creole. He is the author of twenty three books of poetry and poetry in translation, including Origami: Selected Poems of Manuel Ulacia, Blue Window (Dialogos Books) The Migrant States (Hanging Loose Press 2020),Coconuts on Mars (Paperwall, 2019), Uncivil War (Mawenzi House (formerly TSAR), Canada, 2013), and the Paterson Prize-winning The Elephants of Reckoning (Hanging Loose, 1993). Amirthanayagam is a 2020 Foundation for Contemporary Arts fellow in poetry, and a past fellow of the New York Foundation for the Arts, the US/Mexico Fund for Culture, and the MacDowell Colony. He edits The Beltway Poetry Quarterly; curates the reading series Poetry at Beltway Editions, and publishes poetry books with Sara Cahill Marron at Beltway Editions. He serves on the Board of DC-ALT. His blog is

Cherlie Rivage studied theoretical and descriptive liguistics at the Faculty of Applied Linguistics in Haiti. Passionate about books, she is a librarian, on the board of Plimay, an internet platform for which she directs @Mon Auteur.e. She is also in charge of communication for "Quinzaine de la Poésie Féminine" promoted by Plimay. She founded Banquet Poétique, a platform that promotes contemporary Haitian and international poetry.