by Pia Tafdrup
it says there on the sign beside the curved ocean,
but I have just caught
without being swallowed ―
it’s the words that hold the whale in my mouth now.
In the light,
which is grey like human ashes,
I think about the whale’s being
while the earth is kissed
by metal-hot rain,
that nothing is what I have expected.
There is no other centre in a seasick world
than everything that freely moves ...
What did the whale’s
From the primordial sea it threatened me
with a crater’s joy,
with holy shamelessness.
To my relief it fills
infinitely more than my own life,
when I dream about it
– or in order to exhaust the realm of the possible
encounter it fever-naked
as the miraculous glows and hurts,
that I’m losing my soul in its soul,
because it is losing its in mine.
(my translation from Danish)