Friend

On the first day he wore an iron armour for flying.

Underneath there was a heap of soft feathers and every word in his mouth

Had a spike or two, a beak or a conductor’s baton.

I opened his mouth and carefully took out all the words lining  them up on a coffee-table.

I sharpened the weary beaks a bit and returned them to him.

It was all happening in silence for the first several years.

Cherry liqueur was pouring down the small table where

His words had been spread.  We were climbing underneath the table to lick it

Looking at each other without batting an eye, knowing it will all soon be over.

Those were the winters, one whiter than the other, climbing upstairs in their shoes.

Wedding parades were there, tree tops, wooden beds with their worries and railway terminals.

His armour hid the huge machinery exhaling

Deep sighs underneath the earth. His mighty birds, sailboats, fly eggs,

Stilted etudes, pathetic sonatas were marching ahead of us on night roads.

When it was all over he proclaimed me his fellow one.

He placed all eyes in drawers leaving only a pair of confidential ones.

I carry it with me to towns, towers, in sickness and in early morn,

That confidential pair of mountain flowers’ heads.

© translated by Damir Šodan

Prijatelj

Prvi je dan na sebi imao željezni oklop za letenje.

Ispod oklopa bila je hrpa mekog perja, a svaka riječ u njegovim ustima

imala je par bodlji, kljun ili dirigentsku iglu.

Otvorila sam mu usta i sve riječi pažljivo izvadila na kaveni stolić.

Našiljila sam malo posustale kljunove i vratila mu ih.

Sve to proteklo je u šutnji, prvih nekoliko godina.

Niz stolić na kojemu su bile izložene njegove riječi

slijevala se višnjevača. Silazili smo pod stol da bismo je oblizali

netremice se gledajući, jer sve će se uskoro završiti.

Bile su zime, sve bijele odreda, dolazile su u cipelama na kat.

Bili su svatovi, krošnje, drveni kreveti i njihove brige i kolodvori.

Njegov oklop skrivao je golemu mašinu koja je ispuštala

duboke zvukove pod zemlju. Njegove silne ptice, korablje, klice muha,

drvenaste etide, patetične sonate marširale su ispred nas noćnim cestama.

Kad se sve završilo proglasio me bližnjom.

Pospremio je sve oči u pretince i ostavio jedan povjerljivi par.

Nosim ga sa sobom u gradove, tornjeve, u bolest i ranu zoru,

povjerljivi par glavica planinskog cvijeća.

© Ana Brnardić