Zajc Dane:
You Are Not

You are not in the voice of the wind, not in the diffusion

  of the mountains,

you are not in the blossoms, and if the birds beckon,

  they do not beckon to you,

you are not in the nakedness of the earth, not in the lan

  guid odor of the grass,

and if you plant roses, to smell of you, they smell of


and if you lay a road, the road will narrate its own story,

and if you build a home, if you fill it with precious     

  things, it will one day take you in like a stranger

and the things will talk to themselves in their own

  language, mocking you.

It is a lie that the spring exists only to quench your

  thirst, that the river exists only to bathe you in its cool embrace.

It is a lie that objects exists only to soothe you with

  peaceful memories,

because one day your whole world will oppose you.


One day the objects will change their names,

the stones will hate, the wind will threaten,

the street will frighten, the birds will hammer your brow

with the searing nails of their voices, the river will be


your possessions will be your guilt and your accusers.

The world will be in ruins. The world will have no     



But then you will not care. You will sit in a forsaken


You will close your eyes and see nothing. Most of all

  you won’t see

your own bewilderment in the bewildered and deserted


So that you won’t think that you must

do something, that you must walk somewhere with your


which will be spindly like the legs of a black spider.

Only your head will be big. Your head will blossom

white like a magnolia. You will search long in the white

  cave of your mouth for a name for yourself,

but this time, better than to find a name for going on,

would be to find a name for the end.

Translated by Erica Johnson Debeljak