To Have A Friend
I see the devil’s head, people, I see his whole body
I never thought he could come so close
he longs for innocence, as we do, I have the sensation
he was crammed into the wall for a long time
I have the feeling that his hands ache, that he is tender
and absorbed in thoughts, he licks everything before killing it,
he bursts into tears, scraping meat, he is blessed
he has no friends, he is walking alone in the world
I have the feeling he is saying something to me
that he is watching me with regret
he knows I could never sleep with him
we are both humiliated
he reminds me of the English teacher
when he was pensioned off, and young secret-police recruits,
it seems his beatitude is failing
the souls squeal when he tortures them
he doesn’t drink them, as I imagined
it seems he derives no benefit from them
I think he would like to have a friend
to share goods and pleasure
he steps in the river and wets his head in it
he doesn’t know how to speak with it
he splashes on the surface
I will leave him as he is, I will not talk to him
To the Heart
Raucous black sky, why did you swallow
Who authorized this gluttony?
My brothers are flowers.
Can you still smell haystacks and lemon blossoms?
The body, dipped in water, loses its scent.
The Allahs on the beach smoke their pipes.
All of us burn our eyelashes.
Raucous black sky, did you tally the food?
What will you do in this crowd of white cherries?
Is there a piton in your gluttonous cave?
What kind of papers do you burn under the pagoda?
Don’t birds crash into your eyebrows?
You, who can’t tell the yolk from the white,
where do you put the colors?
Do you think I’ll feed you like an hourglass
which can be turned upside down, into eternity?
I’ll break the horseshoe, we’ll see if you
Your gates will burn down
below water level.
Raucous black sky, my intimate!
Display the stones.
Crush the eyes of the otters
so you can smell and count them better.
You’re a belt!
Your procession of clay and silk flags
goes mad when they touch one another.
Where then is your papier-mâché?
Do the stars wound themselves in my body?
Have you ever asked them a question?
You keep your gods locked up in bowls like peasants
in vats stomping cabbages.
I’ve bitten your heel five times already.
And it grows back like the beards of saints,
because they never eat.
The earth is my bonbon, my glutton!
The rest of the fruit we’ll divide in half.
I’m beating the rug in your mouth, the black one,
to make you cough!
And I’ll roll my children into the fishbones, bend them and
glue them so they straighten up and cut your
throat when you click your tongue and
dream of warmth, because you drank my blood.
Raucous black sky, give me back my number!
Do you see those moist curled paws?
They’re yours if you agree to the rules of the game.
Copyright © 2006 by Tomaz Salamun
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced
or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work
should be mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.