Musei Capitolini

by Veronika Dintinjana


Musei Capitolini

On the flight home I have the window seat.

Across the aisle, father and son.

A young father, perhaps thirty years old, dark-haired, handsome,

the son six or seven years of age,

the same hair, fuller cheeks;

they play, Daddy tickles him, kisses

his cheeks, neck, shoulders and arms,

the boy laughs, laughingly

kissing him back: »Contrattacco, babbo!«

The father caresses his tummy – such tenderness

only a father and a son can share,

a tenderness even women know nothing of.

They are beautiful,

as statues in the Capitol museums

dug out from the garden of a Roman villa,

so resplendent,you want to touch them,

gods, nymphs, animals,

perfect in their own world.

NON TOCCARE! warns the museum guard,

the human touch sullies and destroys

what must last.

Is it possible to feel such tenderness for statues?

The hand of a father

not in Jupiter's temple

or above the clouds,

the time here has come to a standstill

(myself, and the book that says poetry

never stood a chance of standing

outside history).

Cracks in the stone,

visible only to the attentive eye.

Something within me that cannot be at peace

with the past, a gracefulness that wounds, as does

the air that surrounds it, preventing any touch,

a museum of wrecks and remains,

a relief of a father kissing a son.

Translated by the author and E. Underhill

Musei Capitolini

Med poletom domov sedim ob oknu,

na drugi strani prehoda oče in sin,

oče mlad, star morda trideset, temnolas, lep,

sin star šest ali sedem let,

enakih las, polnejših lic;

igrata se, očka ga žgečka, poljublja

po licih, vratu, ramenih in rokah,

deček se smeje, med smehom

ga poljublja nazaj: »Contrattacco, babbo!«

Oče ga poboža po trebuhu –  kolikšna nežnost,

kar si lahko delita le oče in sin,

o tej nežnosti tudi ženske nič ne vedo.

Tako lepa sta,

kakor kipi v kapitolinskih muzejih,

izkopani z vrtov rimske vile,

gladki in sijoči, da bi se jih dotaknil,

bogovi, nimfe, živali,

popolni v svojem svetu,

NON TOCCARE! opozori varuhinja muzeja,

dotikanje uniči in umaže,

kar mora trajati.

Je mogoče čutiti do kipov tolikšno nežnost?

Roko očeta, ki ga ni

v Jupitrovem templju

ali nad oblaki,

čas se je tu ustavil 

(jaz in knjiga, ki pravi, da poezija

ni imela najmanjše možnosti

ostati zunaj zgodovine).

Razpoke v kamnu,

ki jih zazna le budno oko.

Nekaj v meni, kar se ne more pomiriti

s preteklostjo, milina, kjer enako rani

zrak, ki jo obkroža

in preprečuje dotik,

muzej razbitin in ostankov,

relief očeta, ki poljublja sina.

Veronika Dintinjana