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Finger of Light

Memory: a blot in the archives of history,

luxuriant river backwaters and tributaries

for fishing by flashlight, at the Špica

where polliwogs grow into frogs

and gangs of wrestling boys are restless,

recollections, wordless signals, the fluid

of the finest narrative, which no one can

retell in full, that’s why we pass it hand

to hand, respectful and inquisitive,

like a lid we lift slowly so not to be scalded,

the past doesn’t care, the truth doesn’t either,

whatever we think of them; the closer we get

the hotter it gets, that’s clear; if I step back,

if you stay behind, the story is strewn,

the instant restarts, the finger of light winnows out

among willows, and now I’m left with what I’ve

never liked: a half hunch I was very close,

but what’s it matter when I don’t have a witness,

let alone answers to questions I switch on and off

like a feeble light, so many lamps in an empty house,

the chapters of this story drowned in croaking,

disappearing as circles do, on the surface of a lake.

from Without AnesthesiaFind it in the library

Copyright © Persea Books 2011
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.

Published in Ales Debeljak Poems

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