Monday, 10 May 2010

A poem by the Dutch poet Eva Gerlach

man alive

He’s there outside, a fly lands on his tongue and
he spits it out, checks if it’s living, allows it                      
to dry in his hand, with his stick touches all of the
mulberry tree’s yellow leaves, each one in turn,
they fall at his feet. And the crow
forsakes him not.
You want him, he’s never again that man out there,

you’ve only just seen him and yet: at no time before
so perfectly framed in the light, man a-
live, all you know of him touches now
all that you see of him, there in the crook
of the question-mark mulberry tree
standing briefly translucent,

how you see him, his whole face
uplifted, the triangle under his chin, with the throat
most vulnerable, the skin there
now taut – never yours in this way, except when
inside you perhaps, forgotten – you want him, rap
on the window, he sees you, the fly he

throws up from his hand and upward it flies.

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