Olives

by Jure Jakob


Olives

You weren’t here in Medana.[1] You didn’t eat the prosciutto. You

Didn’t drink from the glass, you didn’t watch the glasses circle

And the wooden spoons hang from the branches of the walnut tree.

 

You weren’t here as the sun fell down behind the Dolomites, lights

Were lighting up on the level plain stretching from the Alps to the sea

Like tiny eyes, and you weren’t here to say,

I can see all the way to Venice.

 

You didn’t lie among the cicadas that kept breaking the silence

From the darkness and bodies from other bodies every morning, you didn’t

Dissolve like mists in the sun just above the horizon as

My thoughts dissolved in the glow of images.

 

The tent was large and empty, and on the inside,

The canvas of the tent didn’t smell like the canvas of a skirt

On a fold of skin; there was no skin.

 

I sat on the patio listening to tongues

That touched me like the woman

I’d been with for two years:

Unintelligible tongues.

 

You weren’t here, woman. The Brdo hills are abundant,

The ocean is near; I’m talking about the kind of wanting

That’s pressed like olives, cold. It’s bitter

But good.

 

[1] Translator's note: a village in the Goriška brda region of Slovenia notable for its annual poetry festival.

From Wakefulness , Ljubljana 2006, translated by Jernej Županič

Olive

Ni te bilo v Medani. Nisi jedla pršuta. Nisi

pila iz kozarca, nisi gledala, kako kozarci krožijo

in kako lesene žlice visijo s krošnje oreha.

 

 

Ni te bilo, ko je sonce padalo za Dolomite, na gladki

ravnici od Alp do morja so se kot drobna

očesa prižigale luči, in ni te bilo, da bi rekla,

vidim do Benetk.

 

 

Nisi ležala med škržati, ki so ob jutrih

parali tišino od teme in telesa od teles, nisi se

mehčala kot meglice v nizkem soncu, kot

moje misli v žarenju podob.

 

Šotor je bil velik in prazen in na notranji strani

šotorsko platno ni dišalo kakor platno krila

na gubi kože; ni bilo kože.

 

 

Sedel sem na terasi in poslušal jezike,

ki so se me dotikali kot ženska,

s katero sem preživel dve leti:

nerazumljive jezike.

 

Ni te bilo, ženska. Briški griči so rodovitni,

morje je blizu; govorim o takšnem pogrešanju,

ki se stisne kot olive, hladno. Grenko je,

a dobro.

Jure Jakob, iz zbirke Budnost, Ljubljana 2006