Where Is the Little Wall From

by Tomaž Šalamun
translated by Michael Biggins with the author

The vehicle is simple. “Beauty sleep every day.”
Eight kilometers from Lisbon by streetcar, toward
the west. Reader, escaping from my baskets, haven’t you
noticed? You can’t escape from five baskets all at
once. The baskets shift like a juggler’s balls. And we were
off. We walked and walked, naked, far into the militarized
zone. Hey, handsome! You’re squinting beneath me.
You have to look into my eyes. You proclaim a new good
and a tank drives into your mouth. We didn’t slam huts like
these since little Friday’s times. You don’t even have a proper
terrace here. A duke or a horse. Kerry sends me caravans
of camels from the furthermost parts of the world.
My home is Persepolis. I accept my gifts in a factory.
I lived to see Alexander. I kept Alexander alive.

First published in Harvard Review 37

Published on April 9, 2010