If it’s true that people call to each other
from solitude to solitude, call one another in vain,
then here, in front of thousands of faces
fixed like statues staring blank and blunt,
I want to look, for the last time, at a flower:
a poppy as it waits for rain, perhaps,
a crocus or tulip refusing to bend,
or an iris that blooms three hours
before it fades—it doesn’t matter.
I only want to make doubly sure
the world will be less than perfect
if you miss my being near. I just want
to take you in my hands, squeeze you
at the stem, weigh you and crush you
inside my fist, stagger and turn to liquid
and flow to where no place existed before.
In the air that inhales this fragrance
I want to breathe as long as there is breath,
to trickle through your hair and through
its roots, travel up the stiffened tube
all the way to the petals, at the top I want
to swear like a bead of water
the light shoots through, testify to the vertical
surge and make myself dizzy rising on my own.
The avalanche of blood in my fingers
takes away whatever power I had.
Forgive me if I’m a torrent of the past,
a memory that calls your name to make it stay.
Translated by: Aleš Debeljak & Andrew Zawacki