Thank you, Tomaž Šalamun

Tomaž Šalamun
The Leopard Doesn’t Squat

Come, break me, reduce me. I’m becoming
the Czech’s foamy milk bowl. The siren will
kill me. Tear her dress off like Vergil to make her

a fat, abashed gelatine. I’m mashed by rocks.
She devours me like a tempest, she devours
the tattered flag. I’m an ice cream cone

melting in the child’s belly. Smashed
grapeskins. The yawning of sybaritic gazelles.
As an elephant I squirted. As a leopard I

squatted on the cow’s heart, the big one, at the edge
bordered with pearls. Bamboo was stuck in
the heart’s small nooks which on the other side

kept opening like mouths that had just passed
through the gelatine. The arrow, the wing,
the fish fins, the diamond nib of my liquified

brain. This makes the empire. Lust.
Appoint the sirens in the valleys, but I
swallow you out of myself. I enjoy

you out of myself. And I want more.
More, more, more, still more, ‘til the pain
with its heel squeezes my soul like toothpaste

from my throat. To have a good cry again and to
tremble, to shake like an overhead machine
and to sob. To need you. To need you.



Tomaž Šalamun
We Lived in a Hug, Shivering with Cold

Is the little bird torn apart
by a paw? Lights switch on, at least
one juxtaposition between

trunks. On handcarts
(wheelbarrows) there are

blue baby
bags. An unguaranteed
growth ring is left

on the asphalt.
The gadget with which
you fatten

your ears,
rubbed out from sky
lights. The other

will understand all of this
when he takes the time.
The Danube will open its graves.