Olli Sinivaara

A Second

From street corner to forehead clouds rising, the copper-sounding thickening chips,
glowing sun-crust the streaks before anyone even thought to say streak.

Because it was, it is here: ember-like the branches, glimmering in advance of the fire,
the bowing bridges once proofed off the near thread-ready cotton,

waterlines against which the salt sea stitches the wound of Spring's arrival,
rails nearing the melting-point along which let's let the streetcars pass.

A broken icecube between the butt cheeks lifts colours along the spine,
a document protector covering the streets opens itself to odds and ends of the firmament,

a passer-by with a face on which the black tops of lime-trees writhe
is split into a spring and a well toward blue then moves on like it never was me:

what in the evening light reflects to skin the rinsing fragrance of mirror-glass
makes you break like you swear every oath ever taken on the never-said.

                                            translated by Leevi Lehto and Alan Prohm

Olli Sinivaara is a Finnish poet and translator. His first book of poems, Hiililiekki (Coal Flame), from which this poem is taken, was published by Teos in 2005. Besides poetry, he has translated René Girard’s philosophical work, La violence et le Sacré (Violence and the Sacred), into Finnish.

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