Tomaz Salamun: Lacquer


Destiny rolls over me. Sometimes like an egg. Sometimes
With its paws, slamming me into the slope. I shout. I take
My stand. I pledge all my juices. I shouldn’t
Do this. Destiny can snuff me out, I feel it now.

If destiny doesn’t blow on our souls, we freeze
Instantly. I spend days and days afraid
The sun wouldn’t rise. That this was my last day.
I felt light sliding from my hands, and if I didn’t

Have enough quarters in my pocket, and Metka’s voice
Were not sweet enough and kind and solid and
Real, my soul would escape from my body, one day

It will. With death you have to be kind.
Home is where we’re from. Everything in a moist
We live only for a flash. Until the lacquer dries.

Translated by Christopher Merrill

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