I am a well-oiled rudder in your hands,
my will a beeswax candle wick. I hardly
ever burn without your consent.
I stand before you where many have stood,
a violence in my veins, I’m ready to drown
and chew on coral, the sandy ocean floor,
my future only a hint in front of me:
just say the word and a sounding line
will plumb the deepest part
where trembling is a form of salvation.
Like Moses faced with water that won’t
give way, waiting to be divided before
it covers all there is with oblivion,
inviting me by its odor, its color,
the shape it sets itself. Gathering
what little remains of my strength
and overflowing the edge, I rip your
cloak with my teeth. As a caravel
missing its compass and crew
will find its own way back to port,
I follow an order to anchor in this alcove,
saliva coating the wharf
at the small of your back.
Translated by: Aleš Debeljak & Andrew Zawacki