laden with Japanese accent,
while I smell
freshly bloomed camellias in the park
in the middle of Tokyo near the Imperial Palace,
deep inside, where the paths are pierced
by gnarled tree roots, and I
am filled by the day.
The voice belongs to his face,
his words become song, as we walk
between rocks and earth
near the water that flows further down.
Lines in his brain lead
like longitudinal axes in an atlas
to a shared, almost intact
story I've heard fragments of before,
until his words are interrupted
by crows in the air above the trees.
Suddenly, the absence of speech becomes
hermetic silence, when we stop
on our way up the steep slope
by the water, where nothing other
than our breath can be deciphered,
and a cataract of smells around us
strikes deep roots that no one can run from.
PIA TAFDRUP (translated by David McDuff), from THE SMELL OF SNOW (LUGTEN AF SNE, 2016)