Šalamun Tomaž:
Who’s Standing

Are you the stone of a fruit, dear soul? Mandorla, fetus

in white coffee? Your eyes are flames,

the dark grains of my ladies.

Shut the slot if you can’t watch it.

Take a break.

My love is a holdup lifting you slowly,

slowly, so the air doesn’t run out.

The tears you never confessed to fell

into soup bowls, in a Slovenian

village inn. The shawl was

green, red, from Kashmir,

We lost it then.

But you are cube in me,

little light burning endlessly on the grave.

I watched the ascent, the food,

your blood pulsing on different continents.

Tunnels in parallel worlds


In the fire we saved

the sizzle of your tennis shoe. I pasted you up

with resin, with tokens, so you could breathe

only through your rhomboids.

I shoed you or

cleared the sky when I

starved you, when I taped up

your gargling.


How much longer will I be cut into pieces?

Loaded among wooden logs.

Translated by The author and Chris Merrill