Jan Baeke

Translated by Willem Groenewegen

Rue des Abeilles

Everything was breathing. Thursday dawned
but just to those who counted the hours
and thought about themselves
in connection with the world.

So that very Thursday someone’s eyes
and hands were lying in the grass.
It was grass described
and had no form.
Eyes and hands had
no form. Only a name
and an address, Rue des Abeilles
but this couldn’t be right
for all the bees flew past
Boulevard Longchamps
It wasn’t even Thursday
when the ship got stranded
in Marseilles’ harbour
and I’d written this down accordingly.

At the same time someone was breathing
softly against the closed window
as if it was that Thursday
and counting and thinking about
oneself was yet to begin.