The Nightingale

Tomaž Šalamun translated by Michael Thomas Taren

Hogs, nightingales, ponds in Gabrče,
bald Madam Tončka at the door.
My cousin glues lips of movie
stars, Sergej trains judo.

Are cows related to Mister Toni
who was my nonno's clerk?
When he stepped at the threshold
he sang: O, Parigi, città de Dio.

My nonna said: take him off
the desk. Nonno said:
Signor Toni is a decent lad,
let him think he's the nightingale.