In the Evening You Lie Down in Bed

In the Evening You Lie Down in Bed

and you know you are lying down in vain: tomorrow you will get up still more enervated
than when you lay down. In the morning you get up from bed and you know that you are
getting up in vain: yesterday’s day is awaiting you, with yesterday’s stress.
With the humiliations of the day before yesterday. With the despair of the day before that.
This siege has been going on not for two years but for a single day that has no end.

From this I could find rest, it seems to me,
Only by the sea. And who knows if we will ever see it again?
Will I ever again be able to stand on those cliffs
Where the air currents are so strong they
Return the cap you threw?!

But I do not long, this time, for the sea with the fleshy
Leaves of agaves in which the names
Of love are carved. For the olive trees feverishly
Twisted like green Laocoons. For the hats of jellyfish
That look like silken tents from Oriental
Tales. I do not long for the monotony of waves which the poet compares
To Homer’s metrics. I do not long for that ink
With which one could write billions and billions of
Iliads and Odysseys.

I long for that sadness that
Comes over you when, looking at the eternal blueness
You listen to the murmur of that eternity.

For the sadness that tells you that you have a soul again.
Maybe not even for that sadness, but I long for that magnificent
And balmy emptiness.

To plunge the soul into the emptiness that relaxes.
That heals and rejuvenates. To stare for hours not even at the open seas,
Nor above the open seas, but—just so! The Bosnian way. Until you
Both what you are and where you are and where you’re from and what your name is.
The only thing you know is that within you are—miles and miles of emptiness.
And that the sea’s vastness has sucked out of you
All the centuries, all the way to Adam. The blue emptiness stretches
To the end of the world and, backwards, to its beginning.
And you grasp—actually, you don’t grasp, you feel it on your palate:
The sweetness that will take over after Judgment Day!
Everything will be obliterated, like a child’s scribble on a blackboard

And only pure rapture will remain!
So you taste ahead of time, albeit with a teaspoon only,
The bliss the world will explode in!

Translated by Omer Hadžiselimović – © 2006 Omer Hadžiselimović

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