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PARUN, Vesna

Before the sea, as before death, I have no secrets

If you seek a path to my soul

take me to the stormy sea.

There you’ll find the unearthed temple,

the ruins of my life; and the plateau of my youth

enclosed by a wall of fig trees.

There you’ll witness the ancient lament of my thighs,

that have brought pagan gods to their knees.

Before the sea, as before death, I have no secrets.

The earth and moon become my body.

Love transplants my thoughts

into the gardens of eternity.


That clatter and smoke that’s getting closer

will enter your garden and open the sleeping door.

You’re home alone. What will you say, girl,

to the unknown man that wants to die

on your naked arms, what will you say?

You’re alone in the empty, abandoned house

that’s embraced by ferns. The sky from your window

is always the same, tender and far.

Weary horsemen pass through the roads.

And someone wants to die on your silent arms

that no one has ever put to sleep in the midnight's.

Tonight someone craves to embrace, while dying,

your thin waist and untouched hair.

Look at the road, look down the water, down the wide evening:

someone secretly called you from the shore.

Drop your braids down your shoulders. Run

with an open heart; don’t be afraid of your quivering.

Run, run! Don’t ask who’s sobbing

nor who’s following your footsteps in the dark.

Gravediggers already took all the shiny corals and golden canaries

from the demolished house.

Stories dispersed into the silence.

Don’t cry: that’s love. Go thru the pathless path.

Instead of earrings you will carry a weight of pain,

girl, if it’s life you chose!

The fault lies in our childhood

We grew up alone like plants.

And now we have become explorers

of fantasy's desolate regions,

not yet tractable to the world's evil.

We sprang up along the highways

and together with us grew our fear

of the wild hooves which will trample us

and of the marker stone which will set bounds

on our youth.

Not one of us has whole hands.

or two intact eyes. Nor a heart

which has not stifled a moan.

The world has entered into us discordantly

and has pounded our foreheads

with the clangor of its murderous truths

and with the din of the belated stars.

We grow old. And the tales accompany us

like a flock moving toward a bonfire in the distance.

And our poems, like ourselves, are

grave and sad.