Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2015  v14n1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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translation from the Slovene by Brian Henry

Schoolboy’s Blues
Šubičeva Street, Ljubljana

I went to school when cigarettes were sold by the piece.
Now comets whistle and shoot across the black sky
of the town. I still live here, still among the shapes
of forgotten things they force into daylight, still amazed,

after all the long years, when it should be clear to me
that during German grammar exercises I wrote notes
in vain about a man who looks through window blinds.
I still don’t understand them, but wish to, so much

that it hurts sweetly in the twilight, in the tepid air,
that I would learn a hundred languages and orbit everywhere
like a guest at my brother’s wedding and I would hover, yes, like mist
on the flowers in a greenhouse, and I wouldn’t know if it drips

damply from a heavy sponge, with which I wipe everything
behind me, traces of all field trips, only this time, one last time,
I sign up without coughing fits and chewed-over words:
I will arrive like a peasant who burns nests and loves pigeons.  end  

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