Dry saliva in the mouth of day, very dry

you can’t even glue a stamp on your mother’s letter

and the dust is glued on nails and eyes

like grief on the skin of the sea.

We went up and down the hill

carrying rocks and death on our backs

under the curse and the whip

we counted the water and the stone

life and death — we got used to it

the longing faded

even anger lessened

only the resolve didn’t wither.

Between the spade and the shovel of the night

the comrades rest

with clenched teeth,

with their fists as pillows.