Translated by Lloyd Haft
1 [from ‘Household’]
Warning from the sun: the tub must shine
the chrome flash the marble gleam
A smell of alcohol, I soap, brush, shammy
I sneeze, almost don’t see
how hairs from the toilet bowl lie curling
in the bath in shame. Gross things
bear secrets high, not understood
I kneel, let me decipher them in reverence
and enter the shower as a temple
The dying are seers. What did you discern
on the last border? Disquieting underbrush
or a tamarisk by a spring?
Light green meadows or a chalk-white cliff
a shut-away palace or blossoming gardens?
The blessing of a luminous ocean?
Open the curtain. There should be light
in the room, earth the domain of the sun
that shines upon arrival and farewell.
The smell of hyacinth you said lilac
or no, jasmine. A heady perfume
We laughed at all the changes of bouquet
because we were about to cry. We knew
frost would thin the odours
to a figment of the brain, fading wind
How I wish it were spring. I’ll
bow down, breathe in deep
and smell you in the scent of blossom.