Nicole Sealey, Stel dy Sisyfus lokkich foar

 
Stel dy Sisyfus lokkich foar

Gun my fannacht dat ik ûntreastber bin,
        sadat him gjin deadsdriuw oankundiget,

it moanneljocht de sinne-opgong net oerredet.
        Ik waard berne foar’t de sinne opgong –

wannear’t de moarn har fermommet as nacht,
        de temperatuer fan bloed, triljende

mûle yn rou. Hoe skriuwe wy
        ús sêfte berte by, de hichte

wêrop’t wy wienen – wienen wy goaden
        dy’t stjerren lâns in parhelium-himel rôlen,

lykas skarabeeën? Wy falle earne tusken god
        en mineraal, ingel en dier yn,

ferwachtsje dat in ding sa hillich as de sinne
        kliuwt en sinkt as in gewoan bist.

Herten begnuve libbenleaze kealtsjes foar’t
        se fuortgean, oaljefanten foarmje in sirkel

om de skedels en tosken fan har deaden hinne –
        net ien wol de bonken achterlitte, net ien wit

dat fuortgean it ferlies ferlytset. Mar fûgels
        plôkje har eigen fearren, hûnen

slikje harsels om te ferwûnen. Stean my
        dat ta. Gun my fannacht dat ik fykje

en sâltsje wat iepenleit. Gun my in lodde
        om de alrún te wjudzjen en hear

hoe’t er raast. Gun my in gesicht dat sa ynlik
        mei stien omwraamt dat it sels

stien is. Ik sis ta dat ik wer yn it fleis kom.
        Ik sis ta dat ik sirkelje om op te stigen.

Ik sis ta, moarn bin ik lokkich.

 
Oantekening fan de skriuwer. De titel is ûntliend oan de lêste sin fan Albert Camus syn essay ‘Le mythe de Sisyphe’. Ek de rigels ‘Gun my in gesicht dat sa ynlik / mei stien omwraamt dat it sels / stien is’ binne loswei ûntliend oan dat essay.

 

Imagine Sisyphus Happy

Give me tonight to be inconsolable,
        so the death drive does not declare

itself, so the moonlight does not convince
        sunrise. I was born before sunrise—

when morning masquerades as night,
        the temperature of blood, quivering

mouth in mourning. How do we
        author our gentle birth, the height

we were—were we gods rolling stars across
        a sundog sky, the same as scarabs?

We fall somewhere between god
        and mineral, angel and animal,

expecting a thing as sacred as the sun to rise
        and fall like an ordinary beast.

Deer sniff lifeless fawns before leaving,
        elephants encircle the skulls and tusks

of their dead—none wanting to leave
        the bones behind, none knowing

their leave will lessen the loss. But birds
        pluck their own feathers, dogs

lick themselves to wound. Allow me this
        luxury. Give me tonight to cut

and salt the open. Give me a shovel
        to uproot the mandrake and listen

for its scream. Give me a face that toils
        so closely with stone, it is itself

stone. I promise to enter the flesh again.
        I promise to circle to ascend.

I promise to be happy tomorrow.

 
Note from the author. The title is borrowed from the final sentence of Albert Camus’s essay “The Myth of Sisyphus.” The lines “Give me a face that toils / so closely with stone, it is itself / stone” are loosely borrowed from the essay as well.

 

Ut Ordinary Beast, Ecco, New York 2017. Oernommen mei tastimming fan de skriuwer.

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