An Island on Land
“… the Republic of Macedonia is a landlocked country…”
Who says we haven’t got a sea?
We don’t have it now, it doesn’t wash our borders
but once it was in our backyard
then it dried up, what was left was confiscated
together with our house, and us, refugees left homeless.
How can we make do without a sea?
Banished upwards, to the north, we remain (until we cool off)
still in harmony with it (that umbilical cord!) beyond 300 mountains
So what if (as in bygone times) it was (is) called white, black, blue
it is always the same yet different – morning, noon, night.
Good that it’s here, though locked in caves and underground rivers
the high tide thunders in our dreams, the ebb tide runs us aground into reality
Drought is its salt, its blueness – vast, open sea, horizonless –
is a glacier stuck between cliffs that takes shape from longing
for the primaeval ocean – with internalised traces, excessive in their power,
of its breathing in the pulse of our veins.
Finally – and why not? – our salty blood is
punishment for the ancestral sin. Because you once drank brotherly blood
that is why to this day you cannot drink the sea.
translated by Peter H. Liotta