Poems by Pavol Janik / Translated into English by James Sutherland Smith

 
Poems by Pavol Janik
 
 
THE MOMENT BEFORE TOUCH
 
The air grows still.
As in an illustrated weekly
I leaf through your eyes.
 
To hear silence
as it walks in new shoes
and lulls the buzzing bees.
Somebody furiously addresses us with wings.
 
It’s said that you’ve seen
burning birds tumble from the sky!
 
It’s just at the base of your breasts
there’s something making a ceaseless hullabaloo.
 
 
TO YOU
 
You come from a scent.
A crumpled flower.
I inhale you tangled like smoke.
 
You inhabit the starry sky
and dials of digital watches.
 
You stupefy me dependably
and faster than light.
 
My head aches from you
and to this moment I mistake you for music.
 
 
VIVACE MA NON SOLTANTO COSI
 
Barefoot
you leap from star to star.
And each time there’s a chime
like the kiss of crystal glasses.
 
Thousands of your faces
skate with perseverance
on frozen ponds.
 
I open you with a violin’s clef
and seek the bow
whose elasticity can equal you.
 
Deep in you
instead of strings
I’ve touched tears.
 
Translated into English by James Sutherland Smith
 

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