-translated, from the Slovenian, by Ana Jelnikar and Barbara Siegel Carlson
O, I don’t care what you are,
I don’t ask about your ways,
nor where you’ve gone, where you’ve been,
whether you’ve killed, or you’ve sinned.
I know this terrible passion too well,
of the soul that drives you to grow and to fall,
yes, when you’ve come to the end of the world,
ceasing to know what brought you there.
Give me your hand, friend,
give it to me, even though you’re my enemy,
give it to me, so that in my hand you’ll know
what it is to want to love, but can’t.
Barbara Siegel Carlson is the author of 2 books of poetry Once in Every Language (2017) and Fire Road (2013) a and chapbook Between this Quivering. She is co-translator (with Ana Jelnikar) of Look Back, Look Ahead, Selected Poems of Srečko Kosovel and co-editor (with Richard Jackson) of A Bridge of Voices: Contemporary Slovene Poetry and Perspectives. (2017). Her poetry and translations have appeared in Salamander, The Carolina Quarterly, Mid-American Review, Lake Effect, Agni and others. She lives in Carver, MA.
Ana Jelnikar is the foremost translator of contemporary Slovenian poetry into English. Her most recent publications include Look Back, Look Ahead: Selected Poems of Srečko Kosovel (2010) co-translated with Barbara Siegel Carlson, Meta Kušar’s poetry collection Ljubljana (2010) co-translated with Stephen Watts) and Iztok Osojnik’s selected poems Elsewhere (2011) co-translated with Maria Jastrzȩbska). She is also the author of Universalist Hopes in India and Europe: The Worlds of Rabindranath Tagore and Srečko Kosovel (Oxford University Press, 2016). She lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia.