Cosmopolis for Josip Osti Sarajevo-Ljubljana
Boundless Room
To My Few Friends
Fidelity to the Sea
Eyewitness in the Garden
Last Resort
Sobering Up

Old men sleep near dogs in hallways, ignored
like past dictatorships, the dream of everything

that might have happened. Hey, lord,
what of my longing to look,

in dark palace bedrooms, at masters
decaying in saddles on the top decks of the Nina,

Maria and Pinta. I feel the soft salt
of the Atlantic under my feet, and people

stare at me, an intruder of sorts, surprised
and propped on the steps of their houses,

I’m no less startled to see in the backdrop
a void that gapes beneath the Southern Cross.

Residents wearing crimson shawls
count rosary beads and forecast the future

from bones of tribes long gone. Elevators
inside the glass towers in courtyards

sidle down and up, never reaching a tip
for ideas of fame and bravery to take off.

Passengers on this circular ride, idle for hours
at a time, stare at the walls go sliding by,

not touching them. They hide from each other
what binds them. O to arrive, on horseback or camel,

over mountains and the pale green Sargasso,
to this town where oddballs and stammering

philosophers are protected by the law
against disdain. They’re drained by now

like a plant under hot sun, a rotting flower,
a fine daze, they could do with fresh water,

their lips are chapped and dry, and swell,
stiffen in shock like an empty

pitcher’s echo. Today your name
is listened to, for the last time.

Translated by: Aleš Debeljak & Andrew Zawacki

2018-08-21T17:22:54+00:00 June 30th, 2010|Categories: Poetry, Blesok no. 71-73|0 Comments