Tomaž Šalamun translated by Michael Thomas Taren

The boat, in the altar a shrine,
in it the gray stone nostril, the sky,
you, drowned in mucus, with the tongue
pressed to the nasal bone like a gnat in amber,
before it is hatched, swimming away.

And also a hoarfrost on spruces
of my whip while we travel. How is it
that we don't avoid rocks, we waddle
on skis, we rush, roots, a mallow,
they falter us and hunt us.

The sepulchre of bones is a chicken.
Sanctum is the real.
The cuirass, the plaster cast crackles,
the layer, the layer is torn,
the stones of the white skin.

I catch you in my palm. I stop your
skiing. Your last skiing up and down in my
palm like huge waves on the landing strip.
Your eyes are yellow.
You shake off like a swan.

With your clumsy beak,
the mountain boots, you punch my heart.
Who cares! I hardly feel it.
So we squat. In the underground
apse, in the scepter and the dung in the templars'

eye. We work calcium in the moss,
we gimlet-like wise vault the cone,
the innkeepers' lakes and
lagoons, a whiff on my knee.
My head, sacred, sweet and smooth.

I roll you like a log of wood, soaked
in the brook. You kneel correctly. With ears,
then hares, then blades of eyes on tentacles,
then only warmth, at home, the Jesus Christ's
heart. From the pile of bones we take soft

lumber. Did we hear enough membranes' blows
of the dark, sweet, red booming? I spin
the propeller of your chakra with my muscle like,
with the right hand, the propeller on biplanes.
You put on goggles. I slide you down the chute.