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Lisbon Treaty Referendum, 2008

by Thomas McCarthy


Admit it: in the end we are all Catalan.

This one idea of Europe is dead:

Daniel Cohn-Bendit speaks for himself.


In the cave of ourselves his voice is hollow,


Leaving a sincere French mark upon stone.

We will ever go round and round

Like Saltee sea-birds seeking a haven –


Out of our mist, it is always famine ships,


Forebears,  archipelagos. The wreck of our ship

Is the birth of economies. A rock pierces hide,

An outhouse is filled to the stars.


Our cattle-grid has devoured treasuries.


Give us no more of the well-bred child, Europe’s

Sole survivor. An armada of protocols

Has shed its load off our coast. Heaven-sent,


A squall of blue stars has swallowed Europe.