WHITE NOCTURNE

 

Snow, snow… Silence like aluminum foil.

The horizon is simply a round whitish moon.

The roads are white. The air is white.

Trees are hardly discernible

like the beards of saints on old frescoes,

splattered in whitewash by bearded barbarians.

 

I am silent. And there is so much to tell.

So much is eating us. We are silent.

Letters are obituaries of our feelings.

What is “I love you” in seven days?

Or “I am sad” in seven days?

Or “Goodnight” in seven days…

 

***

Do you know what loneliness is? –

It is sleeping on your own shoulder…

 

Of course, despair is always too soon.

And always too soon is the coming of death.

And always there’s something you didn’t quite say.

And always there’s something you didn’t quite do.

Snow.

Lovely and white, and silent.

The roads are white. The air is white.

And always there’s something not quite…

 

***

Snow, snow… The aluminum silence

is crispy. A stanza of helmets

marches across the white sheet of winter. The band

playing silence – the snow has stopped the ears

of all the brass instruments.

The drummer sketches a profile on his drum,

the snow covers it, the drummer sketches

again, the snow covers it again.

The white eyes of the rifles look up quietly,

like blind beggars, oh!

The soldiers march, they march in silence and

slowly, they walk by, they march, walk away,

the snow swallows them as if it’s a blotter.

The town’s asleep, the villages beyond the white field are asleep, the white bones of

the fathers are somewhere asleep, the mothers with white hairs are also asleep

and through the white walls of their rooms walk

the soldiers, marching in silence and slowly,

walking away, the band playing silence…

Oh, loneliness in freedom’s name!

 

***

All night the door clattered

As if someone was coming home all night.

But they never did.

 

In the morning, the wind left on tiptoes.

I tiptoed out of my room.

I put a roof tile on my head, instead of a hat

and stood at the corner like a caryatid:

I am my own house,

I am my own inhabitant –

No one leaves,

No one comes home…

 

***

Good morning, citizens, having your breakfast

upright, like statues by Polykleitos!

Please, let me have breakfast with you. You know,

when one remains alone,

one gets very sociable.

 

I toss myself

in the abyss of gazes,

ready to grab at the life-saving ring

of any smile!… Come,

lay your head on my shoulder–

like an epaulette.

I need none other distinctions.

 

***

Snow, snow… Silence like aluminum foil.

The horizon is simply a round whitish moon.

The roads are white. The air is white.

 

The snow is covering my steps.

Did I, or didn’t I walk?

 

That happens to time, too. Events like birds of prey

rush on us:

the large ones pluck at our names,

the middle-sized – at our words,

the small ones pluck at the millet of full-stops.

Feelings turn white. Thoughts also turn white.

Silence.

And we ask ourselves:

Have we lived? Or not quite?

 

© 2013 Mariya Koleva, translation from Bulgarian

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