ON THE LINE MAN-WOMAN AND BACK
You escape from me
With astonishment I watch
how with a single scrawl of your legs
you ignite your silk dress.
With such blinding nakedness you pre-empt sky-blue flame.
Blazingly ablaze and perhaps wholly otherwise
I address a fire
which you will no longer damp down.
That time I wanted to declare at least what was essential
to all chance passers-by,
to all chance passing aircraft.
So under such circumstances who wouldn’t have spoilt it?
THE MOMENT BEFORE TOUCH
The air grows still.
As in an illustrated weekly
I leaf through your eyes.
To hear silence
as it walks in new shoes
and lulls the buzzing bees.
Somebody furiously addresses us with wings.
It’s said that you’ve seen
burning birds tumble from the sky!
It’s just at the base of your breasts
there’s something making a ceaseless hullabaloo.
You come from a scent.
A crumpled flower.
I inhale you tangled like smoke.
You inhabit the starry sky
and dials of digital watches.
You stupefy me dependably
and faster than light.
My head aches from you
and to this moment I mistake you for music.
VIVACE MA NON SOLTANTO COSI
you leap from star to star.
And each time there’s a chime
like the kiss of crystal glasses.
Thousands of your faces
skate with perseverance
on frozen ponds.
I open you with a violin’s clef
and seek the bow
whose elasticity can equal you.
Deep in you
instead of strings
I’ve touched tears.
From the book of poems Unconfirmed Report, in Slovak Nezarucene spravy, Publishing House Smena, Bratislava (1981).
Translated into English by James Sutherland Smith
Photo: Bruna Bonino
In Margutte: Poets of the World, Pavol Janik, Slovakia