Monday 23 May 2011

Poem from the collection 'Cinnamon Fingers' by the Flemish poet Stefan Hertmans

Onion fingers

You cut them gently as if alive,
First crosswise and then the rings
But it hurt there
Where the skin could touch yours.

We don’t have to talk now
You had just said.
Your eyes sting but it does not
Staunch the words.

I smelled too, shredded red
The juice still in the fingers
That I had laid on your hands.

Thus an angel once visited me
While you feverishly slept,

And on the fire a pan
That gleamed for years with evening light.

Enlighten us, Muse,
Shred our lives,

Embrace me, you,
Your fingers smell
And they tremble.

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