Poppy

Tomaž Šalamun

Translated by Brian Henry

They’re calling me. The arsonists of cypresses.

I stroked bunnies in my palms.

He rose at dawn. He rose at dawn.

They’re embracing me. The tiger that stomped on the tribe.

It coiled the roads like flax around legs.

Die, Tomaž! You no longer have a soul!

I photographed you with your mouth open

as you lay on the snow for the agreement

with the ravens. The hall that you

thought was rock was really

the rag of a red heartbeat.

Tomaž Šalamun (1941–2014) published more than 50 books of poetry in Slovenia. Translated into over 25 languages, his poetry received numerous awards, including the Jenko Prize, the Prešeren Prize, the European Prize for Poetry, and the Mladost Prize.
Originally published:
September 1, 2022

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