The first cat I have not eaten

by Martina Vidaić


The first cat I have not eaten

when the first cat dropped out of a Baudelaire,

I've touched her gingerly, with one finger, like the E.T.

tensely soft she was,

a life jacket hating the water.

in the myopic view, shine on the outside, darkness on the inside,

the night bath for beginners.

I've asked: what is it?

the thing that, once you wipe off a lot of dust

curls up, the mother suggested.

it has plastic eyes, is made of velvet, the sister concluded.

the slippers, the father gladdened, but could not find

a hole big enough for his feet.

the cat created nothing but harm:

with its claws she tattooed light dots on trouser legs,

with its tail she drew out laughter out of the palms of our hands,

its paws designed the tiles.

nohow could we have mellowed at her presence,

we had to let the gypsies steal her.

from the venus' mound in a forest they've picked their tents

taking them toward the opposite side of a triangle,

as if toward the tip of the Balkans.

some years later they've returned,

those same ones, it seemed, but you could never tell with the gypsies;

always the same and never quite the same.

the cat, expectedly, was not with them any more,

in those dark gorges only a Kusturica

survives sometimes.

 

since then I've become much smarter,

whenever a cat drops out of a Baudelaire

I swallow it smoothly.

with an Eliot's it's somewhat harder, one needs to Chew.

© translated by Boris Gregorić

Prvu mačku nisam pojela

kad je prva mačka ispala iz baudelairea,

dotakla sam je oprezno, jednoprsto kao e.t.-a.

bila je napeto meka,

pojas za spašavanje koji ne voli vodu.

kratkovidno gledano, izvana svjetlucava, iznutra tamna,

noćno kupanje za početnike.

pitala sam: što je to?

ono kad odjednom obrišeš puno prašine

pa se zarola, ponudila je mater.

ima plastične oči,  plišana je, zaključila je sestra.

papuče, obradovao se ćaća, ali nije mogao naći 

rupu dovoljno veliku za svoja stopala.

mačka nije radila ništa osim štete:

kandžama tetovirala točke svjetla na nogavicama,

repom izvlačila smijeh iz dlanova,

šapama dizajnirala pločice.

nikako se nismo mogli pripitomiti na nju,

morali smo pustiti da je cigani ukradu.

oni su pokupili šatore s venerinog brijega šume

i odnijeli ih prema suprotnom kutu trokuta,

kao prema vršku balkana.

vratili su se koju godinu kasnije,

oni isti, činilo se, ali s ciganima nikad ne znaš;

uvijek su isti i nikad nisu isti.

mačka više nije bila s njima, očekivano,

u tim tamnim gudurama samo kusturica

ponekad preživi.

 

od tada sam postala puno pametnija,

kad god mačka ispadne iz baudelairea,

glatko je progutam.

s eliotovim je nešto teže, treba žvakati. 

© Martina Vidaić