Tuesday, March 06, 2007

One Granulated Soul

Crush Syndrome
By Miroslav Holub

Once when, in winter dark,
I was cleaning the concrete-mixer,
its cogwheels, like the teeth
of a bored rat of Ibadan,
snapped up the glove
with the hand inside. The finger bones
said a few things you don't hear very often
and then it grew quiet, because
even the rat had panicked.

In that moment
I realized I had a soul.
It was soft, with red stripes,
and it wanted to be wrapped in gauze.

I put it beside me on the seat
and steered with the healthy hand. At the clinic,
during the injections of local anesthetic
and the stitching,
the soul held firmly with its mandibles
to the stainless-steel knob of the adjustable table.
It was now whitish crystal
and had a grasshopper's head.

The fingers healed.
The soul turned, at first,
to granulation tissue,
and later a scar, scarcely visible.

--Translated by David Young and Dana Habova ~ Book

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