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Janis Elsbergs

Jānis Elsbergs

from Daugava Boulevard

Your breath is water.
My breath is iron.
Think of a vessel
that may contain you.

I make chains of thought
wreaths of letters.
You rain on me
rain showers.

I accuse in whispers:
“Girl child! Crying one!”
Mutely you respond:
“I'm yours. Your river.”

* * *

the human
grimace movement city history
slippery street and wind in an audio cassette
from a loudspeaker a salesman screams into the ear and
thoughts jump beside the first
floor curtain a passionate flutter multiplied by three
days later in a bar an audit
you smile
for just one week
is it really that hard to wink seven times with
an eye candidly warmly lick
street-exhausted feet
don't know but here
I'm the one

Translated by Margita Gailitis