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HOLUB, Miroslav

The Door

Go and open the door.

Maybe outside there’s

a tree, or a wood,

a garden,

or a magic city.

Go and open the door.

Maybe a dog’s rummaging.

Maybe you’ll see a face,

or an eye,

or the picture

of a picture.

Go and open the door.

If there’s a fog

it will clear.

Go and open the door.

Even if there’s only

the darkness ticking,

even if there’s only

the hollow wind,

even if


is there,

go and open the door.

At least

there’ll be

a draught.

Creative Writing

On the express train to Vienna

she writes in her diary

notes about Rome and Naples.

Ink marks like parthenogenetic aphids,

pages like blood smears

of homing pigeons.

She is alone, gray, reconciled,

a Leda long after the swan's departure,

Odysseus retired at Lotophagitis.

Back home, in Maryland,

the notebook will be interred

in the archetypal drawer,

among the yellowed love letters,

among the infant hair curls,

among the dried adult flowers,

near the cushion where the castrated cat dreams

while Mahler's forever forever forever

chokes in the green wallpaper.

It is her message to imagined little sons;

it is her membership in the club

of Swifts, Goethes, Rimbauds, Horatiuses and   

                                          deathwatch beetles.

It is her monument outlasting bronze,

five-dimensional reality, the last engraving

of primeval man on reindeer bone,

the last drop

of the fluid soul

before evaporation.

Translated by Rebekah Bloyd