Ave Éva

Eszter Bencsik

I couldn’t believe that a woman, she was
I thought she was the white,
I thought she was the blue
I thought she was the stone that is tied to the feet of dead sailors
I thought she was that we dress lighter in the summer than in the winter
that in the Bois de Boulogne the lakes are not changing jumping and crying
their places like, playing among the trees, the children are,
that when we dive head first, it is the water that separates, and not
one’s head
but it’s the other way around with concrete
I thought she was that Asia is peaking East-wards
I thought she was that London plane tour, where before arrival the plane hits a hill and the twenty dead are collected – by heads, by hands, by intestines, and for the conscientious authorities it is awful trouble to faithfully reconstruct the excellent personalities
I thought she was that a 30-year-old man no longer likes
to knock about, but instead likes for a long time and stably
to be bored with someone
whose sight is dear
whose hearing is dear
whose taste is dear
whose scent is dear
whose touch is dear
even though the 25-year-old
at 4 o’clock kisses someone on the heart and
at 5 o’clock goes to play football and
at 6 o’clock goes to have supper and
at 7 o’clock goes to drink black coffee and
at 8 o’clock goes to the Cinéac to watch the
and is glad when another woman settles besides him
in the darkness
with her tacky arse being pulled up, like the fly
on the ceiling
I thought she was that in the small hotels of the Montparnasse
they don’t throw you out
if you don’t
pay, they simply just stop cleaning
thinking – if someone doesn’t want
the dust
to cover them like the pyramids, then
they will go live somewhere else anyway
I thought she was that age-bonus which during the sleep-time
of the wealthy
forced out of them
is packed on the working poor
I thought she was that side of the cosmic balance
which would tip up a lot if
Einstein, Picasso and I, for some strange coincidence
committed suicide
at the very same time
and even when she was resting for a long, long time
in my arms, her head
swaying as if she
swallowed a pendulum which was then stuck in her throat upside down
even then I imagined her as ravelling drift and feared
that if the heat rises, only a wet
patch would remain on the bed cover
Even though it was, by then, clear
that her legs really were nutcrackers
but not a minute
not half a minute time did I have to wake
she was gone

and this is how I lost the one, of whom I built up the world
the only one I loved.
The next day I knew
as a melted quinine
that she is the chariot
the car-honk
the hot spring
– that with her limbs spread out she is the map of Paris
and limbs pulled in
the river running through it
and where
her legs loosely part
on the islands created there, rests
with its towers downwards
the sunk Notre Dame
which stands in the place of a pagan temple
which stands in the place of a pagan shrink
where once Vercingetorix performed sacrifice
and since then, on the lands of the Celts
that is the only piety.

Tamkó-Sirató Károly: Ave Eve - translated

Issue 6
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