Song

Song

Martijn Teerlinck

I have a broad smile of cut-off branches
and a century-old spine holds my back
and high in my ears children whisper
their songs through air-withered gums

and when I walked to school I smoked over my lungs
the sweet tobacco from the mouth of the teacher
then I learned how to speak with charcoal

and then I read the color of my hands
and then I read my knuckles that were pimples
and then I read the white shapes of paint on my nails

and then I said in silence to my hands:
you will become big hands, long hands
these palms will warm up the South Pole
and on the North Pole the fingers will dance a waltz

I have a broad smile of cut-off branches
and a century-old spine holds my back
and the sea of my navel searches a quayside
of flesh, towards a quayside of life

and when I came home I winged myself upwards
and laid down my human skin on my bed
and became what I was , the red white angelic beast
and then I sang of backs and branches and spines

and then I shadowed myself shyly into autumn
and then I slid myself underneath the branches
and then I cut buds of laughter with my fingers

and then I saw the dead flower speak to me
then I saw the pain whispering from her scars

and then I was again human and sang the words
of charcoal and I said forgive me my daughter
for I have a broad smile of cut-off branches
and a century-old spine holds my back

 

This poem ("Lied") was translated by Simone Korkus and published in Ilanot Review, an Israeli literary magazine, in march 2016.


Gepost in: poëzie op 2016-03-29

Door Martijn Teerlinck

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