(1941 -- )
We live in at least two worlds. In the third
you stand in the doorway
with your hand on the electrical switch. All three
Outside the kitchen window the snow
burns blue. The fir shadows have frozen and
squeak as they move.
You undress in the darkness,
appear like a gleam in a mist,
old acquaintance worn threadbare,
Then we leave the heavy dark bodies of our days
and talk ourselves into our night bodies
until death raises its lantern in the dark
and recognizes us;
we nod to each other
and suddenly feel the weight of the darkness.
Now we are compressed, heavy with sorrow
translated with Lars Nordstrom; first published in Translation, (Columbia University, Spring 1984);
selected by Vi Gale for Between Darkness and Darkness (Prescott Street Press, 1989)
The Boat to Finland
In the middle of the sea
new voices are heard over the loudspeakers.
They speak to us in a foreign tongue
inside our windowless cabins.
Long white bodies
wrapped in dry-cleaned, glossy sheets
and with wide open eyes
have passed invisible territorial boundaries.
The watermarked bills in our wallets are
transformed into paper. Our watches
no longer show the right time.
The whirling snow is sucked up by vibrations
from the diesel engines. The stabilizers
and our shadows stand in long lines
with transparent plastic bags in their hands.
They are smuggling dream stuff.
Behind us days
disappear in a wake
unaffected like a mirror
from the Bronze Age.