Faabe! / Help! (Peul + English)

Faabe! (help) the rain has flooded the capital
The clouds weep over Mali, the stars
Reverberate in the dirty water,
And the night passes like a shadow —
God forgive me, I have not forgotten the scent of the wind
The intensity of your gaze, the scent of the twilight
And I dance alone on the top floor of a hotel in Bandiagara

Faabe! (help). The embers rain over the skyscrapers, the stars die
One after the other, like candles that you would have extinguished
The shop windows are all off, only my hotel remains open
I wait for you in this infernal taalol (tale);
God forgive me, I have not forgotten the starless nights
Nor the distant auroras, nor the brilliant winters
And poetry is a fijindaaru (game) of cards I make every night.

Yanndi! (please) let me win this game
I go west and north, south and east to scatter the cards I’ve been given
Kuler (the colors) of the evening blaze, the streets spit plaster,
Collari (dust) buries our dark looks, the sun has risen
A businessman holds the door for me, the moon hides in the folds of light
Aduna (the world) is red and grey and the city stretches its arms of fire
Above the fearful clouds, above our dirty necks.

Hito (a noise) in the hotel of the travellers of passage, the storm bursts
I found kagne (gold) in a sewer, left to the mercy of the rats
I used it to pay for the hotel, while the rain showered,
Then I lay down on the sheets, the light filtering through the blinds
The noise stopped for a moment. I closed my eyes.
A caangol (river) of thoughts submerged me.
Faabe! (help) the rain has flooded the capital

And the stores are all going out, only my hotel is still open
I dance alone in a room on the top floor of a hotel in Bandiagara
The clouds weep over Mali, the stars
Reverberate in the dirty water, it’s an infernal taalol (tale)
And the night passes like a shadow —
God forgive me, I have not forgotten the scent of fire,
The intensity of your gaze, I have not forgotten the scent of the twilight

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