curated by Adam Fitzgerald

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Did you give me the ocean?
Astral bodies were little ping-pong balls,
a totem, a honeycomb, bumps, bumps.
You strengthened the pavement in Sicily.
Watched it from balconies.
The strollers alarmed you.
The same in Naples: to hold back your breath,
to measure, to surrender to the wind,
it was all about your gaze.
About your remembrance of the warm stone.
Who among the strollers, without any reason,
breaks his gaze and lifts it up?
Only love calls,
not wind or shutters clattering.
Do you feel there is no connection?
It bends, it eats its fill, it flows nowhere.
There are no secret corridors to the miracle.
When I kept giving you my hand to lick, like
sugar, were you sated?
Only infinity is always hungry,
not that hunger consumes you.
You discovered a sphere.
You were caught.
You were nailed to the wall, with five others.
You were all my hostages.
Where is the freedom of the other three?
The bracelet was given as a present
on the main square in Cuernavaca.
I measured your dust.

by Tomaž Šalamun (b. 1941)
Trans. by Joshua Beckman & the poet