Now our New Year has no moon
The moon rises to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Dreaming, I take the rifle and shoot my own heart.
Now our New Year has no moon.
The streetlamps of La Chappelle bend down to the darkness
but still spread their light.
I shoot them out, one by one.
An unknown Tamil comes along.
I say Hello and ask him for a match.
Then I see that his eyes are seeking a life.
I am asking for a light and he is asking for a life?
Yes, we are the generation
That lit our cigarettes
On the pyres of burning bodies.
Was there a dead person staggering along the street
Smoking a cigarette in your New Year dream?
He had a house
but no bed to sleep
He had a village
but no road to walk
He had a country
but no freedom to smile.
This is why our New Year has no moon.
When you gobble your milk rice
Do you smell the blood?
Does it taste yummy?
Written by Manjula Wediwardena, a Sinhalese poet, journalist and media activist currently living in exile in France. Translated by Prasanna Ratnayake.