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Swamp Angel

October 2, 2008 by · 1 comment

Georgi Borissov

Photo: Jimmy 74

The village swamp was already dried for a while,
for a while time had started flowing in circles
and God was flinging a straw at my mouth, when
I reached at the pyramid and stepped on its pinnacle.

It was made of glass and flamed across the ocean
like a gold triangle, draped in steam and in fog,
but standing on the top of it, I only felt the cold
and as I shivered I heard someone’s voice: “Come!

it’s too tight for you here. You have no work or place,
I am the Swamp Angel and I know your blood by heart.
Crazy, like a sewing machine, here time jumps
come on down to catch the subterranean blues!”

And he flicked my ear with his wing and clanged his cymbals
behind the backs of the men who supported the arch of the sky –
and past the yellow mummies he and I sank in the tunnel
with the manyfaced masks of my previous life.

“Look here,” he stopped, “how similar this one is to you:
with full scarlet lips and curly black hair…
It managed to kill scores of people and swamps by the Nile,
but couldn’t stop the gnat in the throat from going the wrong way…”

Then he looked at me, and opened before me the earth,
bowed next to it and told me, “This is as far as I am going,”
and with a kiss, he took my breath away, and my soul –
and I saw the golden trumpet of the blind black man…

…that night I slept in the village and it hadn’t rained yet,
it was full of mosquitoes and not until daybreak the rain came
and my back itched so on both the left and the right sides,
that I said in my sleep, “You are growing your wings…”

Translated from Bulgarian by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer

Categories: Frontpage · poetry


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