Fanon in Tunis After Tunis

Speak of exile in a dank room.
Write that word on damp paper
before opening blue shutters.
Before leaving the apartment for the street

before coughing after your first sip of coffee
before recalling the creak. I'm asking why
the world has become this. Silent sirens     this
epidemic     this twisting of a wretched thing.

This was perhaps your question
but you had an answer.
Spoke to it at the University
then      that evening surprised by

the purple scatterings on the streets.
So fragile      strange even
this life against stone.
You are sipping coffee watching

people pass each other.
After you have passed      I'm
watching people pass each other
yet I'm sipping tea.

You loved poetry.
You brought others
to hear Césaire.
The poet is perpetually exiled now.

Now      but not then.
Now      because of then.
Now      because of now.
Now      because we are now.