Friday, March 1, 2013

The Castle Avenue With Trees

It will be this way and no other, he said. Who? The brunette,
now swallowing the afternoon fog and picking buttons
from my short sleeve shirt, it opens strangely, in a style
out of fashion. And I know: a hitchhiker who never enters! God

grant me charming words and smooth endings, grant me a slender
birch I can lean against and forget how life can humiliate us,
like a moon and flowers in the straps of a black weekend dress,
grant me trust in the possibility of a common uprising and cadence

of a blessing, once I could break it into a jubilant shout. Language
knows no private property. It will be this way and no other,
he said. Who? The brunette, who earlier was sipping beer foam,
he has friends down the hill, in the old Vodnik, he persuades me.

He doesn’t know there’s no need, really: I embrace a trunk and change
into white folds of bark, I am freshly peeled. Now write
the way I want, cut boldly, so it shows, the name for joy
that sprays. And a blowout. It is this way and every other.

By AleŇ° Debeljak, translated from the Slovenian by Brian Henry