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BLANDIANA, Ana


If

If I had been created

To stroll among the leaves of mint

On narrow banks of streams

That flow through grasses

With ancient scents;


If I hadn’t been made

With a bell in my skull

Whose constant chiming

Fractures the bone and

Makes up fears connected by rhyme;


If I weren’t always given

The same maddening proof

That stars flow away and mountains soften

Beneath the great commandment

That echoes in my ears so often ...


Oh your body

Oh I still see your body through the ink,

Ink that stains us even in our dreams

Like bitter animal sweat.

I want to reach you

And my fingers slide,

I can hardly see you,

I can hardly hear you,

Tell me, tell me once more that

The whirlpool I plunge into

Darkens us both the same.

I call to you,

But the ink runs violently out

Between us, as though from a wound

Do you still know me? Still wait for me?

Will you still let me go back,

Will you still receive me

From the purple mud?

Will you still come back to

These blue fields,

The desert seas,

Speechless and in tears

So I can offer my trembling mouth

And lips, bruised with words,

To your kiss?


Translation: Paul Scott Derrick and Viorica Patea