Blesok no. 105, January, 2016

Translated by Gorjan Kostovski and Elida Bahtijaroska

Nikolina Andova Shopova

In my body

    I am a tourist in my body
    and I have no map in my hands
    Someone that will accidentally pass by
    will show me the way to the museum quarter
    to the large parks, the square
    to the river that flows in my name
    What do I do in the meantime
    I'm drinking macchiato in a quiet coffee bar
    and thumbing through the daily newspapers
    written in a language I never learned
    Always, I remember, when I would be returning from a trip
    the sky would brighten, the sun would fall on the marble angels
    and only then would I notice
    the smiles on their faces

I'm closing

    There's a fan
    with a map of the world
    closing inside me for years
    Dryland's slowly narrowing
    volcanoes go exitinct
    rivers stop, lighthouses freeze
    deserts roll up
    like dust laden carpets
    One day I will open the fan
    and the whole world will spread inside me
    together with the sky and the wings
    of the great birds
   Translated by Kalina Janeva


    Today I will not go down the same road
    I will turn left
    I may see a child
    whose ball flies away on the street
    and I will return it to him, as my day
    always politely returns
    the loneliness in the playground
    when I kick it

Let's escape from time

    Let's escape from time
    that threatens us with a pulled bow
    and takes aim with the small arrow
    This is what I wanted to tell you:
    – If I pass with my hand on a geographical map
     I will not touch the mountains nor the peaks
    I will not get wet nor fill my hands with soil
    so tonight when you pass your hand through my body
    you won't find dust or wind, neither my name
    that is always reborn
    Because I do not know how much time had passed tonight
    minute, hour, year, lifetime
    Sometimes when I look up and down
    I do not know which trail seems longer
    one on the jet plane in the sky
    or the one that the snail had left behind
    Translated by the author

We dwindle

    We step into things and already we are part of them
Has anyone told us that the seashells are the fingernails of the sea
    that our fingernails become seashells once we enter in it
that our stomach is a sea turtle when we swim
that our breasts are jellyfish
our eyes are little fish separated from the shoal in theshallows
    our hair turns to algae when we submerge it
our skin is moss,
    our hairs are the weeds on the
    swaying in the water like wind-blown
Our ears are little seahorses, our fingers the tentacles of the octopuses
    being offered as specialty in expensive menus

    We dwindle
like sea stars drying on docks
    which will be hung on a wall somewhere as decorations
    like stopped light, a signed souvenir

Knock before entering

    Always be careful, knock before you entering
    you should know that in the rooms inside you
    there's always someone
    Stay longer in those where you are silently welcome
    where you will enter in and sit
    in the long silence
    Some will ask for your name, will invite to you sit down
    will offer cookies, will hold your coat
    will come running after you if you forget your umbrella
    Some you will see only through the wink of silence
    of the forever closed doors
    and often you will not know whether they are your guests
    or you are simply not at home

Blessed is that which we cannot touch

Blessed are the distances and the places to which we will never go
    and the tight smooth nightgown drying on the balcony across from us
Blessed is death that remembers the addresses
    of all our unsent letters
and the gods we try but cannot reach
like the cobwebs in the corner between the bed and the wall
Blessed is the Moon served on the sky
    like a dish of someone who dines alone all the time
and the Sun reminding us
one can love from afar
Blessed is the freedom and our illusion that we have touched it
    like we touch life through screens and displays
Blessed is the past that sticks to us
like long-lasting lipstick on our mouths
    and the future besmeared by red stains
    resistant even to the most advertised of detergents
Blessed are the seas which we will never swim across
because of the water landmarks and the theories of safety
Blessed is the soft hair of a girl
    that nearly, very nearly touched me
    in a bus crowd


    I found a photograph in the basement
    of the place of my house
    before it was built
    when it was only a sketch
in the hands of the architects
    And I know approximately since when it exists
the year of construction is
    engraved in the concrete in a corner of the yard
but I do not know how long before
it did not exist
    and before the
    weeds and the sky existed
    that fade in the photograph
Is the non-existence longer
    than the existence
    and how old is the nothing
    From the dust that rose
of the photograph
    like commas in the air
    I coughed


    Can I eat
this plane sandwich
that my sister left
when returning from her journey

    This sandwich which has flown
over two continents and one ocean
which has flown far more than I will ever
walk or swim

    Maybe I will taste a little of the clouds
if I try this bread
which has been higher than the land beneath it
higher than all states, cities and people
with invisible edges and borders
Which has been higher than all heights
I will ever reach
like the grains of wheat in it that have seen more
than the pilots, the stewardesses
and all the passengers
under the plane
    Will my stomach digest
the whole sky
if I eat
this simple bread

   Translated by Горјан Костовски анд Елида Бахтијароска

On passwords, by Gibran

    Fill each other’s cup,
    but drink not from one cup.
    Give one another of your bread,
    but eat not from the same loaf.
    Sing and dance together and be joyous,
    but let each of you be alone,
    even as the strings of a lute are alone
    though they quiver with the same music.

    Khalil Gibran
    In one article on the internet
    I read that many couples know
    each other’s e-mail passwords
    and that they give them to each other
    as a token of trust and security
    Had a been wise as Gibran
    and I’m not
    I would’ve added:
    “Send e-mails to each other
    but do not give away your passwords
    for the man and the earth feed off each other
    and yet, they keep the secret of their beginnings; each to their own.”

created by