blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2010  Vol. 9  No. 2
translation by Jennifer Grotz

Psalm 33

You make a drought in me, you depopulate me, you leave me
hollow enough to be the tomb that housed his death,
the death that was all your doing . . .

God who turns a settled man into a wanderer:
you’re the one I used to obey?
I loved you more simply when I was young.

My voice once praised you so happily!
Now it breaks because of your grace? my wrong?
I no longer know who’s the tormentor.

If it’s still to you that I cry out my anguish,
I’m sickened by the halting realization:
isn’t it you who tolls my heart like a funeral bell?

If it’s still you I confide in most intimately,
if I still dream of singing your nuptials,
is it from habit or actual love for you?

Why did you burden me with such a desire to praise
before you made me an angel,
why invest in someone who must be torn apart?

If only I understood your suffering, if only I could
strike down my sense of being broken to death
the better to resemble you.
But I’m afraid to cheat and worsen my debt . . .
a God like you wouldn’t ask for my head
and yet what else do I have to pay with?  end

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