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Poetry

Tired Theseus

Translated from Hungarian

You took down the pale blue garbage bag
with yogurt caps, banana skins, colors
like tired oil. So much remains
after us by the morning, a streak of dust
on the bathtub, lipstick on the tiles, your gaze
lined with scale. With dull, used-up kindness
you rest your hand in mine. The memory too
ferments, the time in common, like cider does—
I always wake up to the smell of something sour.
Perhaps the carpets. So many patterns in them,
to follow those—to roam about with you
in the usual comfortable maze. You clean
the corners, the dust bunnies crawl out
tiredly, they feed on air, you bend your gray
figure like one who rented a life
in advance. I close my eyes. I could furnish
a space without you.

Translation of "Fáradt Thészeusz." Copyright István László G. By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2007 by István Geher. All rights reserved.

Read the author's "For the Voice of the Psalms."

English

You took down the pale blue garbage bag
with yogurt caps, banana skins, colors
like tired oil. So much remains
after us by the morning, a streak of dust
on the bathtub, lipstick on the tiles, your gaze
lined with scale. With dull, used-up kindness
you rest your hand in mine. The memory too
ferments, the time in common, like cider does—
I always wake up to the smell of something sour.
Perhaps the carpets. So many patterns in them,
to follow those—to roam about with you
in the usual comfortable maze. You clean
the corners, the dust bunnies crawl out
tiredly, they feed on air, you bend your gray
figure like one who rented a life
in advance. I close my eyes. I could furnish
a space without you.

Translation of "Fáradt Thészeusz." Copyright István László G. By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2007 by István Geher. All rights reserved.

Read the author's "For the Voice of the Psalms."