Literal Translation by Robyn Creswell

Literal translation by Robyn Creswell

The seller touts his fish that no longer belong to the sea
I pass by the smell of salt and laundry lines, I pass by women wearing black
At the door of the hospital, in front of the army store and the family court building
A repressed sob or a cry?
After two streets I will go up the stairs to you
The morning promised me a crime and I believed it
My identity card is with the shoe shiner in front of the door
There is no need for my name, I washed my head and left it to dry on the branch of a tree which a storm will soon uproot
I am what is left of that
I walk in your direction with two closed eyes, and I know I will be neither here nor there
When my memory buoys itself on the river of forgetting.
For years I herded livestock, yet I wore my feet out journeying to the city
The city whose civil war you escaped and you still see corpses in the mirror
I’m blind and you do not want to see
We continue on to the moment of two crossing paths
Desire is like water
It dampens and irrigates and drowns and kills, and you cannot grasp it with your fingers.
I do not fear my right shoulder nor my left shoulder nor the bead of sweat between my breasts
I do not feat the navel’s memory, nor the neck’s birthmark
Nor the old wound on the knee, nor toenails
You can imagine each limb on its own
I remain with you, many and scattered. Every limb will point to me
While my eyes, which have seen everything, despite myself, look inward.
The bed sheets are embroidered with roses covered in thorns
There is no metaphor in that
We are humans to the utmost, we do not dream of flight
Sleeping beside you is most like returning to the earth
And your smell is the world’s dust
A cigarette in the twilight of sleep
Is this journey of fog
Which those returned from the dead cannot describe