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January 17, 2014 by · 2 comments

Sabina Karleva

Translated from Bulgarian by Bozhil Hristov

Photo: Untitled blue

today I confess my contempt of death.

you can chain me to the bedside
you can give me a golden goblet
you can pour salty water into a silver vessel
and summon the slaves who gather oranges in the garden

to come, to deck the windows with garlands,
to drive away the wasps from the deep throats of flowers
to pour a little honey into earthenware jugs, to hang the jewels made of amber

but just don’t deprive me of the earth on which I stand,
don’t deprive me of the earth on which I stand,
don’t deprive me of the earth underneath my feet, did you hear that,
don’t deprive me of the earth, my home.

the earth is the granary of history

is humanism a desert?
to lose my way there, to sink into its embrace
with only sand in myeyes, prickling me…

is humanism a cold ocean?
to swallow so much water,
to be drowning, to feel the bitter taste in my mouth, gasping for air

some people have weird dreams –
alligator hunting, flying kites,
rocky plateaus, mountain crags which the sky gnaws at
like chicken bones

but I want to shovel the ash from the floor of the room with my own nails,
to polish the rough surfaces
but never let the tiny trickle slip away –

let the lions never get in.

I want to be the reason why a man will stay alive.
I want to be the reason why people stay alive.

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