The hardest thing is to start, a new day or a song.
And today we who love tea in the sun,
we who don’t give a fuck about the second plural, today we started early.
The clock says 10:17, and through the smoke that’s rising from a cigarette I’m glancing
nonchalantly like a deer, like a slightly drooping flower, like I’m still sleeping.
From here everything looks possible,
there’s almost nothing we monsters with our fevers and runny noses can’t do
if we approach it with our body and our soul, with feeling, with feeling.
People in this tea house are talking so quietly
it sounds like waves, like wind through branches, and the blackbird
who cuts into this monotonous and rhythmically complicated
tree music is proud as a rooster on a cherry tree loaded with white blossoms.
Such an enthusiastic morning cry, completely different from his blue and meditative
evening ballads. The day is pale and oldish. I know that in a day or two
it will be even worse, the sky yellowish grey and rain mixed with desert sand falling.
I’m talking and writing in colors. I’m watching a milk-white naked stomach
in rounded cascades, soft as if overgrown with moss,
heaped up over a big metallic belt buckle.
Across from me a little girl, maybe a teen, with rosy glasses
dunks her toast into red sauce and listens to her father tell her about Pakistan.
They are also talking about q-tips and dates. They say they like the smell
of my tobacco. So I’m sitting, and chatting a little, and I have the impression I’m waiting
for someone or something. But there’s no one, only a tall woman in a long coat
made of an unknown number of small furry animals.
She walks around the tables. It’s the middle of April, around 10:33,
and time in all its sneaky relativity doesn’t factor. I smell of leather, and dream of silk.
Translated by Matthew Zapruder