Translated from the Slovene by Tomaž Šalamun & Michael Thomas Taren


Noche Buena

How many spans of my sperm already dropped on my
homeland? Do you have to trudge? Was Christmas
beautiful? I’m worried about your boots, are they
warm enough? I have ones Echeverría wore. While
skiing, please, don’t hem too much. Fresh snow
is the most tender and don’t forget in the crystals
there are still the necks of my little ones, alive. Did you
go to midnight mass? Did you hear my jingle?
I saw the black bird bashing around a vault. Carriages
waiting outside. Here the Pacific had hugely foamed and
the whole country got covered by red flowers growing
for the Holy Night. I cried in the churches,
Christ cries no more. Heads of saints fell off and
smashed the glassy cages. My voice smashed them.



The Marmalade

And he wished for more marmalade than
he used to get in school. Gypsies practised their
music. The schoolteacher threw blankets on them,
scolded them and called them torremolinos.
Gypsies just laughed their sweet laughs, they didn’t
understand this word. There was also a grey
bird on the windowsill. I’ll die soon, said
the boy to the bird. And the bird convoked
the bees and the bees said to the doe: we’ll
prick you if you don’t pass this on and the doe
stepped on the pear, they lay on it as if they
would hatch eggs and the marmalade was ready.
But how to get hold of it? Nobody could solve
this. The marmalade rotted in the field as
the boy stared through the window. He was not
questioned. And when he was asked geography
the next day time was at standstill and he
said: animals, too, are awkward fellows. Next
time, I’ll ask my grandpa. Bang! The big
chunk of California tumbled into the sea.


Photograph © Denis Savard, Québec en Hiver, 2013

Kseniya Melnik | Five Things Right Now