boundary 2 29.1 (2002) 55-57

from Skäran, * 2001

Helena Eriksson

a cavity where it radiated the outmeasured
declined It is      then sharp
and inhabits shadows it's concealed

[End Page 55]

Thinking as a whole shaded
Ache at the wing's joint     Heat          It is
           like something from her
cut-out        her wing-shade

Hot cities of the sand, the connections
between these cities
Her hands

in my hot shadow

The clothes, the pearls
the brittle buckles

•         and sounds thrown
around in the room or in the drum, between walls
in one single drum      plays across the whole wall
the drum is now a
rule       it's corroding beneath the wing      Did they
stop up

There the body drifts with its eye

the shoulder blade the sickle wing

[End Page 56]
    the back lays bare      where the eye grows

where it is then written         the voice still moves, and
the hand
     It rubs or cuts

there      now cutting
the hand off the arm      what's been written apart
is conjoined

(Translated from Swedish by Anders Lundberg and Jesper Olsson)

*In Swedish the word sickle (skära) carries a lot of different meanings and can even be used in different word classes. As a noun it can signify "sickle" as well as "crescent"; as a verb, it can mean "cut," "carve," "intersect," "cross," "cleave," "clash," "curdle," "incise"; and as an adjective, it can refer to the color pink. Eriksson plays with this richness and ambiguity throughout her poem—a play that is impossible to sustain in translation.—Translators