100 Refutations: Day 49


I shall rest my heavy fist upon the table
And you shall, like shadows, return to silence.
And night shall be within you,
Around you, when my stare births lightning,

Pedestals shall fall
When I sing my sovereign song
When I raise my finger to the sun.

Your citadels were built upon my flesh;
But if this were to bruise my skin,
The agony could only stretch my will taut like the string
Of a bow.

I am, still, the volcano that shall greet
With beautiful and dangerous music
The end of the heavy nightmare
And the call of Relief.

Do you know?

It will be enough to move my body
And rest my heavy fist upon the table
For you, toward silence and night,
To return

Like shadows.


Regnor Charles Bernard

Regnor Charles Bernard (1915-1981) was a Haitian-born poet, essayist, literary critic, and journalist who taught both in the Congo and in Canada. He published three books of poetry in his lifetime: Le Souvenir (1940), Pêche d’étoiles (1943), and Négre (1945).

Lina M. Ferreira C.-V. and Addie Leak

Lina M. Ferreira C.-V. earned MFAs in creative nonfiction writing and literary translation from The University of Iowa. She is the author of Drown Sever Sing from Anomalous Press and Don’t Come Back from Mad River Books, as well as editor, with Sarah Viren, of the forthcoming anthology Essaying the Americas. Her fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and translation work has been featured in journals including  Bellingham ReviewChicago ReviewFourth GenreBrevityPoets & Writers, and The Sunday Rumpus, among others. She won Best of the Net and Iron Horse Review’s Discovered Voices Award, has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, and is a Rona Jaffe fellow. She moved from Colombia to China to Columbus, Ohio to Richmond, Virginia, where she works as an assistant professor for Virginia Commonwealth University. Visit www.linawritesessays.com.


Addie Leak (French editor) is a freelance translator and editor currently living in Amman, Jordan. She holds an MFA in literary translation from The University of Iowa and has published translations from French, Spanish, and Arabic in various literary journals as well as in Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology from the Moroccan Journal of Culture and Politics, edited by Olivia Harrison and Teresa Villa-Ignacio. She also coordinated the creation and publication of Lanterns of Hope: A Poetry Project for Iraqi Youth, a 2016 collaboration between The University of Iowa’s International Writing Program and the US Embassy in Baghdad.

English translation copyright (c) Lina M. Ferreira C.-V., 2018.