Excerpts from Aftermath – translated by Andrea Sirotti & Johanna Bishop
The carton of milk and the bells.
The rags in the room.
The cat outside the window
that accepts the blame
for being the only one who’ll eat.
The woodstove lit. The colored stockings.
The dirty windows letting in the chill.
The snow out in the fields.
The landscape tastes of houses
and things that don’t come back.
Things are also people
their breath caught in the cold.
Even a sound of windows
slamming can be a word.
The sound of a woman filigreed.
Even the laundry and the embraces
left hanging out to dry
yield an evening walking
that mends the meaning, if it’s there.
But your hips too are part of this
prayer. A sickle motion
Eliot would say. I only needed
the saliva you left there and which
for us was a praising the pictorial
song of God – and your warm
sweet pomegranate – So you
appear naked and beautiful in my hands.
Sometimes believing in God is like
writing a poem. You have
nothing to believe in and yet
you make an effort, measure your faith
against uncertainty, words fail
and you ask for a sign, a comet.
Sandro says a chemtrail.
Maybe a woman’s scent.