The night wore her swimsuits and undershirts she forgot to wring out


Jalopies out of gas, deep-frozen products from the Galapagos Islands, knickknacks, ceiling fans, oil changes, sheep, sarcastic remarks, hearses on alert, eggs contaminated with melamine, relics, minarets as far as the eye can see, bistros, baker-deli-linen-fish-lumber stores, phone booths, internet cafés, criminal records, pools of stagnant water, garbage bags at the mercy of beggars, stray dogs, no-entry signs, mountains of refuse, black market in the merchandise and its derivatives, discotheques, abandoned locomotives, born-again Christian evangelist churches, cockfights, settlings of scores, boxing galas, mosquitoes resistant to all pesticides, booing, trolleys, wimps bankrolled by mercenaries, Neanderthals, laundries, desires, beverages, arranged widowhoods of wives of soldiers declared missing, ringworms, jeers revised and corrected by the foreign press, daydreams of dissident rebels prepared to open another front because of an oilfield, magic potions to treat unidentified diseases, backwash and backwash, cannibals, bleeders, baby chicks with their “do you have the time?”, idols with feet of clay, smoking rooms, palimpsests, cathedrals, repeat offenders in custody released on bail who return to the scene of the crime with the weapon of the crime, oriental tapestries, suicidals, the comings and goings of naked-men diddlers, assorted gaffes, superfluities, prolegomena, dark looks, erections paraphrased and channeled into paper tissues … The night came on with her swimsuits and undershirts she forgot to wring out.

All nights have this particularity: they are long and popular.

They teem with the rabble. They stifle awareness and accrue neurosis. They bind a straw mattress and a clock into an unrecognizable muddle. They come from the heart, improvise, and facilitate multiple partnership agreements between foreign bodies.

Fiston Mwanza Mujila, Tram 83, translated by Roland Glasser, 2015.