Barbara Korun

As in childhood

 

as in childhood
I trust only
the simple things
water air light

water always finds a way
it circumvents every obstacle
it widens every crack

the invisible air lets itself be seen
in the motion of branches and twigs
in the spray of waves
it uncovers roofs breaks down trees

only the light has got eyes
in which things look at each other

as in childhood I trust
only the simple things

a bright smile
of a dark-skinned man from Pakistan
who is dancing
on his knees
because he has no feet
in each move
a deep unstoppable
desire for a woman

I trust a twitching face
and hands clinging to a
closed umbrella in her lap
a scrawny woman from Cameroon
with a warm low-pitched voice
she’s all by herself

as in childhood I now trust
only the simple things
the sleep that has to come
the sleep that I call to
out of a wide-awake
pitch-black
night

(memories are glass shards
glass shards in the dark)

 

 

Translated from the Slovene by Barbara Jurša

Barbara Jurša is a Slovenian translator, poet and English teacher living in Ljubljana. She has translated some of the works of several contemporary Slovenian poets, including Jana Putrle Srdić (Anything Could Happen, 2014) and Brane Mozetič (Unfinished Sketches of a Revolution, 2018).

Join the conversation