Replete Heart’s Counsel
As a Teethager I went
Through Gazing at a Hand

Author: Mariça Bodrožić
Translator: Deirdre McMahon


REPLETE HEART’S COUNSEL,Angels of the clouds
mystical, woven as one.
Curator of all in the office of creation
my greatest kin. In the harbour
no ships of light but
among these wonders, fresh impetus.
The warriors have gone elsewhere,
called from exile, into a new era.
Tell me, rose, are they entering the light?
The wind-house whirl is still, questions
find their way home. I smile myself whole.
The knowing rose has a different form.
I am me, and not yet myself.


AS A TEETHAGER I WENT through time,
winter clenched its jaw
with a tent, with a totem
with a visible rip in the ear.
It moved into whiteness.
Perhaps I have a timeless being
I thought, as I moved
over a lime-treed square
and the roofs blazed out
as in a proper human space.
Sundays were for dreaming,
for travelling avenues
just air beneath my feet.
Only stark Orion’s light,
starbellies to bathe in.
I took my place in the central star.
At first I didn’t see
The temple standing there,
saw only the light.
A line of pillars led there.
Fire blazed out from its centre.
I went inside, barefoot,
big toe and suitcase first.
My case burned bright,
heavy baggage bursting in flames,
my feet unscathed
though I stayed in the fire,
utterly at home.
Returning the same way,
I rode from Orion to Berlin
on a ray of light discovered by Einstein
for his science. In the capital
I noticed first the solid state
of my teeth. I grew wise
at the U-Bahn. Even before
the ticket-machine I knew
I’m a teethager, with bright balloons
with my soles armoured,
with all I need,
with true protectors,
the valley-dwellers of memory.


skin planes reveal their colours.
A Sunday among words
settles down in us.
Both of us, our mouths opened,
dodging sleep.
Our milky way, a street of seams and livery,
rooms to dress up in, laughing too
as if lanterns were hung
over the path for light-starved children.
Bodies coloured in silence,
rolled up in miracles
of mathematical precision.
Equations of longing,
dissolved with a brush,
with a love of painting.
The sound of his eyes,
the springtime of his ears,
the origins of our skin –
as if there were only you
my love. This new land,
entrusted just to us.
Let us carry it,
let us know it,
let us be true to our origins.
We want to look at ourselves complete,
want to see how things go
when we do nothing.
And loneliness, like a shelled nut,
packs its bags and leaves,
with hands hanging,
touching no-one in passing.

From Ein Kolibri kam unverwandelt.  Otto Müller Verlag, Salzburg/Vienna, 2007.