Blesok no. 45, November-December, 2005

This Is It, Your

Magdalena Horvat

This Is It, Your

poem without any aim or pretension
to be another source of your tension—
a post-apocalyptic poem that no one
will read anyway;

found it after you'd shut the door, after
the fray. Inside my palm, while I
held onto the handle in vain.

It had hidden, afraid, in the space
between my fingers:

it took me great pains to tease it out.

             But I know it's yours.

You must've left it some day at my place,
some day when you held my hand — and
now I thought, maybe I'd better
give it back.

Still, you might've forgotten what it's like
and you'll think it's only an excuse
to send you a letter—

but it's not a letter, see?   This is your
left behind, nearly dead,
a sort of a post-mortem in a postscript,
a sort of a futile something unsaid.


One minute you're a too long text.
And I, your cruel editor. And next,
you're a seal on my skin's page. An

age old cliché & then you ricochet
into something unique. Oblique,
you drive me mad (in circles) for

I'm brand new & smell of leather.
And then you're a feather and it
tickles till it hurts! And you burst

me like a bubble, I'm in trouble,
you're the worst! Still I want to, how
I want to watch you sleeping…

I'd be your bedside clock you wind up
nightly; I'd be your buzzer & the red
snooze button that you press on

in the morning. I'd be your toothbrush
& your foam & snazzy razor, or the
cool coat & your shawl, even if I'm

just a small thread. I'd let you get
ahead and fast. Instead of breakfast,
I'd let you have your cake. I'd be the

train you don't run after, though you
always take. Besides all of the above,
I'd be your lift — if you catch my…

Being Borned

Whilst struggling to get my daughter, aged about 2, into a tight
polo necked jumper, she suddenly said “it's like being borned”.

    –Jane, Edinburgh UK, in Guardian's “Notes and Queries”

I've done everything headfirst. Pressed on into
this world. Which was painful. Felt as though
my brain would burst when it was time to go.
But push came to shove; I had to go through.
With breath, I cried and squirmed, not used to
gravity's pull. Nor to static electricity, the air's
force that makes friction cause the fine hairs
on your head to stand up. But wobbly like goo
-wobbly-legged I mean– I too stood upright.
Soon enough, I started to walk; then to run.
I've since flown, even—for business and fun!
And then for my last birthday I got this too tight
polo-neck jumper (as bright blue as mavourneen)
to remind me how, and how long ago, it's been.

We'll Be Meeting

Under a frowning sky,    dark clouds.
Crashes. Bolts of        thunder.
Drenched,            gleaming
black                streets.

We'll be passing each other by,   after
the rain, in the night,    as if nothing's
happened.      Harmless. Carefully
treading, unready        to get wet.
We won't be seeing      each other.
The lightning            would be
too loud             to bear.
We'll be meeting       by chance.

Happenstance ongoing.   (Before that
puzzling eye, all-seeing,    All-knowing)

Fear of Sugar
(a sestina for Angela)

          … only by solace
       do we get over misfortune,
       and only out of solace
       does the weakness get born
       after which misfortune follows.
          –Zoran Ančevski, “Solace”

”Have you any sugar?” Angela asks me.
”In the cupboard. Brown. I've run out of white.”
Angela has her coffee au lait, with sugar
and milk. Sweet. Unlike me – black & bitter.
Still waiting for a change. Miracle to happen.
To finally believe that I am… better.

”How are you today?” she asks. “Any better?”
She's curious, Angela, as always. Drives me
mad with questions, though she never happens
to mention, ever since, her disgust with white
sheets. She's trying to forget that bitter
brief (hospital) episode. Stupid sugar…

What's the use of lies? Don't buy refined sugar.
What's natural is always better.
And the truth, the truth is always bitter.
Still, that night she was quick to catch me
before I sank into that fog, that deep white
dream. Oh, how quickly these things happen!

Thing is, I don't know how it did happen.
I was hungry for something. Truth. Not for sugar-
coated lies. But there was no one; only white
walls, the dark and a bottle of pills. I'd better
be quick, Angela will surely hate me
when she hears…
And they melted, so bitter

on my tongue. But I gulped them down. Bitter,
I gulped them in threes: 6, 66… It happened.
But why did she, then, why did Angie visit me?
What devil made her knock on my door for sugar?
Nine-nine-nine… Salty water…“You'd better
throw up! Throw up, for God's sake!” I curse the white

phone: Go to hell, Bell! What's worse, a strange white
bed, that's all I remember, and something bitter
leaving me through my mouth. “You'll soon be better,
nothing terrible, nothing bad happened.
You were lucky. They're just giving you a sugar
infusion. Don't worry.” Angela above me,

under her halo, all white. “Tell me. What happened?”
”Give me water,” I say, bitter. “Plain, no sugar.”
”Soon, you will get better…” Angela consoles me.

A Poppy by the Rails

    La niña del bello rostro / sigue cogiendo aceituna,
    con el brazo gris del viento / ceñido por la cintura.
    The girl with the pretty face / keeps on picking olives
    with the grey arm of the wind / wrapped around her waist.
       – Federico García Lorca, “Arbolè, Arbolè”

The wind's cold arm holds me, embraces me all day,
while I stand by the ruins of this railway station.

No reason to be here, for me-I won't see you, nor vice
versa– but instead of letting coins make up my mind

or picking olives as I do every day, I've decided to wait
like a pale phrase, a poppy by the rails, in this ridiculous

red dress. Something, which I cannot explain, makes
me hang on to my faith that you, in spite of the years

that have passed, will return for me. By myself,
I freeze. Each September my belief gets stronger:

maybe this time you'll remember the day I was born,
perhaps by thirsting and rehearsing I'll create you.

One day, I believe, this wind will take mercy on me:
it'll go away. You'll arrive, as promised; maybe today.

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