Aleš Šteger

(1973 / Ptuj / Slovenia)

Hand Dryer - Poem by Aleš Šteger

Who speaks when you are not speaking in your own name?
When you do not pretend to speak in the name of another,
But there is the presence of a voice like the ghost's at a séance?
Just retro larifari, cadabra abra, aha, aha, blah blah?

It happens, as if the wind would speak through you.
As if the bora speaks, the Košava, the Passat, icy Siberian winds.
It happens, invisible while speaking in a clear voice.
And they do not happen. Their returns bring no changes.

Or indeed, somewhere between, where the living brush against the dead.
Drops, with which you have sprinkle their brow, evaporate from your palms.
Again you press the silver button on the plastic box.
Again they come roaring, this time to warm your frigid fingers.

Just abracadabra, aha, aha, blah blah. Because they bring nothing new.
The gas station toilet is just like before.
And you, too, were not changed. Only through your palms did something blow.
You do not hold him, but sometimes he holds you. He has your life lines. Your handshake.

He has no name, he who speaks when you do not speak in your name.
And no home. And no things of his own.
A no-name without a body, always on the road.
And his paths can also be yours, but yours can never be his.

Translated by Brian Henry


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, June 28, 2017



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