Days for last testaments, days for confessions: the first poem
in which I said “I”,
entering words as if sewing a button on my breast pocket
with my eyes closed.
On my left side, above my very heart.
I guard it by stitching with care
because I read somewhere that
sincere poetry is tailored
when you convince your heart that you have left it.
When you have no more words
about love, trembling, punishment,
not even about things that gave your memory
a wide berth,
then the unspoken
expresses itself; and only then
do I become responsible for
what I am not,
and what I may yet become.
Each word descends slowly
like the point of the needle,
looking for the right distance from skin and heart.
For the measure of still bearable sincerity.
For the skill of a tailor who does not hide his face behind cloth.
For the moral of the story whispered for centuries
by old Hassidic men close to a warm wall:
About the Earth which is only God’s thimble –
a way of protecting His hand
from our pain
when the needle slips.
Translated by: Evald Flisar