MOTHER, MY FATHER’S FIRST SHOES, THE DECK, JULIET, FRIEND
When mother stretches out her palm – she offers.
That what’s on the palm instantly grows into
a hundred-year old tree,
into a tower with torture chambers and Arthur’s sword.
That what’s on the palm presses itself like a premonition,
like a fossil of eyesight
upon your lip that pronounces – this is how
I come into being.
When mother stretches out her hand, everything,
including your hair, teeth, lovers
and glasses, it all gets tossed on a heap
in a pyramid of desire.
One eye takes a walk to the left, because it is
too painful that miracle egg on the palm,
that Etrurian word trembling as if it is going
to slice the world in two.
Mother charts out the constellations of ships.
There is a lighthouse in the night moving
on top of a turtle and a whale.
It also moves on mother’s palm, moving further
and further away towards some other you.
For tomorrow is the great eclipse, the mass of
childhood that fell off along with the fish head
wondering: where and when is that night now?
And when did mother’s palm close?
MY FATHER’S FIRST SHOES
At the bottom of the wardrobe – actually below
the ground – next to the roots
of a beech that will yet become a wardrobe
there they are – my father’s shoes.
Black, worn-out, made of thin leather, two dry plums
wherein father’s little twigs twitch, his cracking ankles.
Those were his first shoes that I can remember.
Naturally, not his first pair of shoes ever.
He never took them off, they were almost grown
into his skin, so alive, fruitlike, mineral.
Designed for summer and winter.
It never even crossed his mind to replace them
with new ones.
A family of cockroaches – among other – lived
in the wardrobe, a squadron of ants
and plant lice. Those shoes were like Noah’s ark
with little domestic parasites
carrying them from one day into another.
One day mother grabbed those shoes by their very
delicate ears and threw them outside.
But father did not object, on the contrary he bought
a new pair of ordinary men’s shoes.
Those first black shoes with pulled-up ears,
they went into the woods
with no sense of defeat. Just as father had announced
years ago: I had enough of
everything, I will go to the woods.
They became earth, a little tree, maybe even
a bush with bitter fruits.
Those shoes wherein Father’s daughters grew
along with many other unbridled sentences.
I lean over the ferry deck.
The wind snatches two locks of hair
wildly flapping across my face.
The hood with fake fur is twice as thin as a petal.
This ordinary body is swarming with birds and bees,
mother bears with their cubs as well as
coots and some other nondescript creatures.
There is no one on the deck yet it is noisy.
The unshackled tyrants walk about rustling
their oversized sheepskins.
Their beards look thin against the wind –
like an avalanche.
Underneath the deck, beneath the stairs
two are having coffee.
Half of me is still there, an empty cup with the remains
of a cold espresso.
My breath, my gift of speech and movement, mercy,
half of all of it is still there.
One of them took off his coat. There is a hot stain
on his forehead.
I left to see what the reflection on the sea surface
would have to say,
is it enough just to step aside a little bit,
otherwise the foam will eventually smash you against your own
the night fell and I could finally be Juliet
who sought love among the leaves and on the sea surface
nearby the hotel.
I found some young man there
eshatologically serious with book-black hair, white face
and eyes that promised themselves to the other world.
we cuddled in the hotel window inhaling the scent of laurels.
then as the wine began pulsating in our hands
we climbed down to the sea meandering by its side
leaving our historic bodies to the angel on duty.
we walked into the blackest forest
finding a secret passage leading to the bottom of the sea
where I learned how to conduct the choir of birds
who at night pick at the sea sand like blazing flames.
at dawn, Juliet disappeared behind the dark curtain.
golden letters were burning on the walls
emitted by the faraway sun
for the sake of those drowned souls.
touching them stealthily I climbed upstairs
where swarms of tired music students gathered, those
and girls, those nocturnal Juliets
On the first day he wore an iron armour for flying.
Underneath there was a heap of soft feathers
and every word in his mouth
had a spike or two, a beak or a conductor’s baton.
I opened his mouth and carefully took out all the words
lining them up on a coffee-table.
I sharpened the weary beaks a bit and returned them to
It was all happening in silence for the first several years.
Cherry liqueur poured down the small table where
his words had been spread. We were climbing
underneath the table to lick it
looking at each other without batting an eye,
knowing it will all soon be over.
Those were the winters, one whiter than the other,
climbing upstairs in their shoes.
Wedding parades were there, tree tops, wooden beds
with their worries and railway terminals.
His armour hid the huge machinery exhaling
deep sighs underneath the earth. His mighty birds,
arks, fly eggs, stilted etudes, pathetic sonatas
were marching ahead of us on night roads.
When it was all over he proclaimed me his fellow one.
He placed all eyes in drawers leaving only
a pair of confidential ones.
I carry it with me to towns, towers, in sickness
and in early morn,
that confidential pair of mountain flower bulbs.