Walking on dunes
Even though you were moved
by the abrupt shade of green
of trees and grass and pine-tree undergrowth
even though you were moved by this summer’s nostalgia of smoke
burning grass and grilled fish
even though you were moved by the children
who, as yet innocent of the restrictions of the world
already skipped from one tile of the same colour to another
despite all that emotion
you remained cold underneath in your disappointment
like an icy pond in a Siberian forest.
You kept turning to make sure
that footprints left in the sand had been washed away
washed away, you were not. You didn’t want to be
you didn’t want to leave your imprint in anything at all.
Other people’s aquariums
What I like about other people’s apartments is that the way
objects are arranged in space is given, I can only
watch them be.
In my own apartment what makes me nervous is the opposite —
nothing is definitive.
As in life. Fragile, vulnerable the way things are
I could, theoretically, move anything
at any time. My things, clothes, wardrobes and tables
are suffused with the provisional nature of my existence
here on earth, with my uncertainty, my mortality.
I uncritically accept all aquariums belonging to other people
(as long as there is no plastic castle inside)
only my own aquarium I cannot come to terms with, it appears
dark, its dirt falls on my head
I witness dying fish that I then
have to throw into the toilet
the flowers in it have to be endlessly moved around
replaced with new ones because they turn yellow.
Yet, I keep it alive for years, buy
new fish, keep them warm, clean the sand and stones
unable to stop. Of course, until it cracks
and the water pours out I will never voluntarily
abolish my aquarium.
Covered by purple leaves
I’ll leave my roots under water.
You will open the windows, and from a distance
hear the blows from the time when
they killed carp by the vats in winter.
You will immerse yourself in reading, pondering things
so as not to think about yourself.
You will feel good inside those voices
with two sentences left
the first made of my rib,
the second of yours.
Mostly warm nights with windows open wide
are filled with cries and sobs.
Visitors are invisible through treetops.
This is where the year draws to an end.
A student who is a pedestrian in the street
and a drowning man at sea
becomes a tiny saint
in some family alcove.
There, the night has come. You’ll know me
by my footsteps and by the shape of my shadow.
Yes, I live inside the piano.
but there is no need for you
to come and visit me.
A visit to the sanatorium
Gertude takes me aside
entrusting me with manuscripts rescued from the fire.
An ancistrus dances on the wall
and her shadow, as she begs me
– tell him that my name is not Bertha!
Shaking off dust insects from her shoulders
– Bertha… does he ever talk to you
A gaping window, a terrace
full of pigeons, animal vortex, then
nothing but Gertrude’s charged silence
the terrace sinks, the room goes up in flames.