A.F.

The good room, icy in the summer even,

I can describe much better as you see

(where you would never bring me,

where I slipped in twice, or maybe three times)

much better than the kitchen where we’d sit,

the kitchen sofa, on which –

as I so many times imagined it –

I’d see you through the window from the yard

lying dead. Even in memory

the place by the wall is empty,

a flannel apron covering it.

But why each time do I recall

the group of larches down the garden,

by the fence, at the foot of the hill,

those five or six sparse trees,

one in the way of another,

and dry, the branches, bark and needles

in a ring spread out beneath them?

Translated from Czech by Justin Quinn

A.F.

Líp, vidíš, dovedu popsat

parádní pokoj, ledový i v léte,

kam jsi me nikdy nevodila,

kam jsem vklouzl dvakrát, možná trikrát,

než kuchyn, kde jsme vždycky sedeli,

kuchynské kanape, na kterém –

jak jsem si tolikrát predstavoval –

te oknem ze dvora

uvidím ležet mrtvou. I v pameti

je u zdi prázdné místo,

zakryté flanelovou zásterou.

Ale proc se mi pokaždé vybaví

skupina modrínu na konci zahrady,

u plotu, na kraji stráne,

tech pet šest rídkých stromu,

prekážejících jeden druhému,

a suché vetve, kura a jehlicí

v kruhu pod nimi?