Sycamores plaster the house’s exterior walls. When we would unwittingly open the door and enter, the house’s mirrors would bend to collect our shadows. It was before daybreak.
You don your disguise, the peasant’s blouse, shadow-sewn. Without handrail, the immense stairwell ascends before us. We ascend into the looking glasses, then backtrack and arrive at the step from where we started. A certain coordinate of movements tempts us. We avoid the peril of the windowsill.
In plainer garments you would laugh. We are the spectacular ridicule of black lace on the final step. If we opened the skylight and climb naked into the sky the deportations would begin the following day. Rain would fall erratic, waves flood through the windows.
So we climb down a belated ladder through the translucent floor and discharge the rival army, reward it with cities and ports.
On the threshold
My cheeks spread on the ground
Is it gold? I whisper
Will they save themselves before daybreak?
In a doorway, a threshold hooded, wearing a vast despair, is chained to the sky
When nights begin in the morning, I’ll show them the way
You’ll welcome them
We’ll return upstairs to drown at home, someone will arrive, and the house will, at last, be rented
These phosphorescent eyes, these monstrous leaps, who will play?
Trees will thus leaf at a quickened pace
Does daybreak manage to save them?
Your cheeks spread on the threshold stunt a laurel
A human tongue?
Tonight it will rain
From a deadman’s mouth
They’ll go there barefoot. They’ll collide in the dark. They’ll believe in gold.
“The Bo(a)rders” and “On the Threshold” come from a new body of work (currently in process). Plucked and composed out of the field of my own translations of Paul Celan’s early Romanian poems, they border and traverse the porous body of his languages.