- Seeing Carl Mille’s Manniskan och Pegasus for the First Time, and: El cielo se está cayendo/The Sky Is Falling, and: Cloud Watching
Seeing Carl Mille’s Manniskan och Pegasus for the First Time
Slottsparken, Malmö, May
Had you never ridden your bike to the bar across the street from my apartment, had the sun not fallen like a library on fire, had I not watched and been filled with the orange flicker of melancholy,
had the thickening light in the bar not been honeyed, and had you not turned so sweetly-gold beneath it, had I not imagined the throb of some distant desert hive, not confused it with taste,
had your lips not curved like a bow bent with ache and trembling for an arrow, had you not pulled the glass to your mouth so slowly, and your lips, had they not worn the syrupy sting of Port like a dress made of inferno,
had there not been a drop of the Oresund in your eyes, not a glimmer of salt, not a rise or swell of wave, had there been no wet ships tossing within them, no wing of sail, no mast, no boom,
if only your wrists had been unbeautiful, as you pulled your hair back had there been no purple ribbons spilling into your palms, had I never asked, and had you said, No, I rode my bike here, then, had I not walked you home,
had the night not looked like a cracked sapphire, had the stars been less like tusks and narrowed eyes and had I not waited for shadows to rush over us like a herd of dark animals, had they not howled
until I touched your hand, had I known the word for castle, had you never turned in along the red paths of Slottsparken to show me the statue of a man and Pegasus—
had each not been so blue, and had we not wondered, had we known, if they were flying or falling, in that moment, had there been a difference between those things, had there been more space between us,
had the water not jingled like American dimes against the steps, had the ducks not slept like slick stones, had I not seen the shape of your throat in the lamplight, had you not whispered the reasons why you couldn’t kiss me,
and then had we not kissed, had your tongue not been like a garnet slipped into my mouth, had I not deepened like a mine, I still would have looked out the window of the bar [End Page 63]
on Copenhamnsvagan, across the street from my apartment, through each silvering day, into each broken open evening, waiting for you to ride past on your blue bike, bright scarf flying—
so I could wonder your name and finally know what Carl Mille meant, they were falling—both of them, the one with wings, the one without.
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El cielo se está cayendo/The Sky Is Falling
¿Qué te cuento sobre el río? ¿Qué vine a él con mi vida arruinada?
¿Qué se puede decir de las aves? ¿Qué arrancaron el vientre del cielo como si el cielo fuera una piñata de burro azul?
¿Por qué decir algo? Las nubes han comido las estrellas.
Y esto es tristeza— un azul sin comienzo ni final.
Todavía te puedo partir hasta tu luz amarilla. Devorarte mientras el cielo se abre desde el hueso de la cadera plateada y mil grullas se caen al río oscuro llorando.
What story can I tell you about the river? That I came to it with my ruined life?
What is there to say about the birds? That they tore open the belly of the sky like the sky was a piñata of a blue donkey?
Why say anything? The clouds have eaten the stars.
And this is sadness— a blue without beginning without end.
Still, I can split you to your yellow light. Devour you while the sky is opened until its silver hip bone and one thousand cranes fall crying to the dark river.
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