tomaž šalamun





Red, burgundy, blue,

this is my roof, I belong here.

Bread crumbs, jugs, paper and

the wind lifting all of this to the sea.

O how I call the body of my younger

self, I would like to hug him.

Why are you not here?

What are you afraid of?

We’ll slit the spiral if you want,

we’ll crucify the document.

Sun on red bricks in the sunset

will be ours, the continent will be ours.

We’ll crush the cradle under the belly of a boat

and get up safe, refreshed.


Look, I splintered all the New York

bridges into pirouettes,

people are choking, hamsters aren’t getting water,

and a huge avalanche,

our sea and a great fair,

kingfishers breaking

through the austere air, soft and crystal,

through the father of gelatin,

are landing on our shoulders.


Cabbies are happy.

The world turns up where we rub our sleeves.

We can concentrate the night into a pump and a dumpling.

We dissolve gold.

Something in between wooden tubs and gas cans,

bent blue edge and body made of metal.

We know everything and we know it only here.

Bobby, leave him!



—Translated from the Slovenian by Tomaž Šalamun and Matthew Rohrer