Kätlin Kaldmaa -Estonia-


Kätlin Kaldmaa TAPFNY 2016

Darkness and light

You dip your foot into darkness like water, you take it out, no foot to be seen, your foot is black to the brink of darkness.

You dip your hand into light like water, you take it out, no hand to be seen, your hand is white to the limits of light.

Darkness, light unseen alike.

Translated by the author and Miriam McIlfatrick-Ksenofontov

My Bosnian lover

My Bosnian lover is of the blue wolf brotherhood. At birth he bore a blue mark on his back, a gemstone ingrown on his spine; his mother ate moonstone mash to make her child human. And it did.

My Bosnian lover longs for his kin and is always up at night. When he walks his footfalls fit into those of his forerunners.

My Bosnian lover has outlived his siblings. His brother burnt in his home. His sister fled from looters and outlaws to be snared in the forest by soldiers. She served as their war wife, one for all. In a year she was ousted from the gloom: too ugly and too combustible. My Bosnian lover now raises his sister’s son. My Bosnian lover has a bullet hole in his forearm. “It’s a good place,” he laughs, “to keep a fag when out for a walk.”

My Bosnian lover has a history of love. As far as I know he has loved a girl in a yellow skirt, a boy in seventh grade who sketched inconceivable spaces, a dog with no name (that’s why it was loved), a woman who knew how to sink into armchairs, and a country that blushed in a tongue of living fire.

My Bosnian lover has a history of war. Every day at dark he returns to the past to search for his people. He comes back with a start, a ribbon for his daughter a bone for the dog, or a skirt for his sister’s wedding.

My Bosnian lover is good with his hands. He carved his own bed where sleep never comes, only love, whispers and blood. He takes me with a howl and with force and I, lacking moonstone in my spine, at every full moon turn werewolf.

My Bosnian lover offers me bread from a knife tip. It’s one of those things that I, in between worlds, can teach him. He vowed that for me he would always keep a knife and bread. I believe him.

Translated by the author and Miriam McIlfatrick-Ksenofontov

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