Blesok no. 106, March-April, 2016
Translated from Slovenian by the author and Andrew Zawacki
To My Few Friends
Above the herd of white cities and above
the fires that frame them, a scarlet kite
appears for a moment, guided by a child’s hand.
Come. Just follow me. It isn’t far to where
you will have a view of ripened fruit
as it remains, lying in wet grass:
the order must have been fulfilled.
Unbearable, yet necessary, like the horizon
that dams the light ad softens
the defeat of human shadow.
You too will lie, it’s your habit.
Here you will count your handshakes
with the neighbors, errors in the language
and a horror of runaway troops, the biography
of castle walls, of streets and public squares,
saliva, heartbeat, sinew, semen,
some murals and portraits, forgettable
decrees. Come. Follow me. Here you will
shiver like I shiver, in labor and in love:
it is easy to live without memory, but not
without the legacy of what runs in the veins.
For now I pray apart, but I don’t want
to kneel in private forever – come,
follow me, since no one would dare
to go there alone, in stammering
and drizzle, even for a little while,
evaporating out of the visible world.
Before a Throne
Wait for me, my lord, I would like
to stop, I would like to sit down,
to cross my legs and look
at nothing but you. Please excuse me,
but I would like to see you up close
from the top of a dizzying tower,
I want to see myself as you see me,
you who take shelter in the flicker
of flat, impassive stars. You see a woman
dressed in a cotton shirt,
her talent for comfort, her loyal physique,
a woman who wants to make a home
in all this: let her, lord, in your huge hand
reaching toward the north, where it vanishes
like silver among the fish, in the no man’s water
of the Atlantic. Maybe I myself will see her
just as I am seen, beneath a sky that fades
like a distant foghorn, alone in the world,
a garden of mandatory twilight.
While my family and children, playing
somewhere, slipped out of earshot
as you approached, you pressed against me
tighter than any need, entered and
devoured me in an instant that knows
no term. With a glue as white as dolphin fins
you splashed my forehead and face.
I would like, if only once, to see this as you do.
A Sunday Dilemma
A town square, a cave of damp salt,
the snow has stopped falling, bladed cold,
the street is quiet, pedestrians in and
out of arcades, like skimming on waves
in the republic of water, ice crystals
under the night lamps focus their
shapelessness, disheveled rooms wheeze
in extinguishing light. Loner uncles read
magazines, their covers covered in black
foil, and love, this little-known thing,
feeds on the calories in detail, it sucks
them out of the final marrow, an animal
marking its territory, I hear a noise that’s
not yet words, a leg along another’s leg,
maybe too quick for my taste, but I want
to be there, feel the feathered arches of your
ribs, every breath will trigger a flood of blood
above the lobes I want to lick, I have to say,
somewhere on the Turkish side of Cyprus,
in towns that gather their shame to themselves,
again I return to the surface to breathe,
above the frame of the screen: out the window
with it, then, it hasn’t yet conveyed if I’m to be
a storm tomorrow, or today a lightning bolt.
I don’t look over my shoulders, no idea
where I’m headed and not an ounce of fear,
falling like fluff from an eiderdown quilt,
sinking in the afternoon air, real as an hour
of solitude or the fragrance of an herb.
My wounds are healed over and all five senses
in sync, harmonized to the birds and the sky,
the grimy wall of an underpass with graffiti
scratched in a child’s hand, announcing
I was here. But not only here, my lord, as you
know, I go where you want me to be –
tonight, for instance, I am a wave
you push across the Old Square, underground
through a parking garage, over the banks
of a lazy green river and over the files
on a drawing desk of another architect.
Come, a whisper says, and again
I flood the channel, at one with
the darkened air above the city and the steppe,
like the pillow you smooth and soften up
for someone unable to sleep,
lying along the world as it slowly goes out.