Starlings flock into a ball and roll sonorously along a line of
trees. Above them seagulls wheel and airplanes, below them
pigeons fight for space. And down in the cellar, to
which you descend in your mother’s stilettos, ’cos it’s flooded,
’cos the water’s inches deep, ’cos they’re red,
the best of the best are picking the sprouts off potatoes,
cutting yard-long cigarettes into shorter ones from sackfuls
and sinking their teeth into candied pears that are shut in jars.
Amusements fit for many a courtyard. And they’re bickering.
While the second has gold, the first has foam escaping from his gob.
Well yes. There are things you never grow out of. Even if you don’t
know how much yeast, meat or butter to shovel down your throat.
© translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones