Lying awake at night
I tried to remember
the sound it made when it fell
from the tilted glass shelf above
the hotel room sink, and how
many times it bounced before
disappearing into dark guts
the receptionist — hands
in white disposable latex gloves —
searched in vain for half an hour
after dismanteling pipes
cluttered with gray matter and hair.
His hopes did not flinch
until he presented me with
a tooth.

I can’t believe I lost, I told him
in a whisper, for the second time
a wedding band through the hole
located near the rim, the hole
they say is there to prevent
The first one I was still married,
then we bought a second one
I kept on wearing
after the divorce.

But from the sink, water flows into the sea,
said my five-year old daughter,
after I translated her these words into French,
and you will find it because you know
how to dive into the depths of the ocean.
She also asked, how did you translate this?
How does one translate into another
language something that has already been
How indeed?, I asked myself.


(Sabine Huynh, unpublished)

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