We drove
The bodies of the olives
The dresses of the lemons

By Esther Dischereit

Translation Iain Galbraith

 

We drove

We drove
above us flocks of small birds
like dark spots
marking our way
through the sky
You were holding a cake
in one hand
I was eating
you turned up the volume
I listened
you pointed to the rain-drenched
barns and fields
I saw
the wispy mists
of your country
I am weaving you in
and he wove me in
we were late at the counter
why did he not
remove his sunglasses
I saw a few crumbs
where I had been sitting
and the way the leather bulged

 

 

 

The bodies of the olives

The bodies of the olives
the olives of the bodies
an olive is missing at one of the windows
you cannot buy an olive
they are handmade and old
olives are sometimes in wars
they are the fallen then
I love bursting olives
they protect my ears
against the thunder of battle
There are no white or red olives
the olive factory ran out of paint
so they took war-green and painted
the red and white olives
these went in the press with the others
it was poison I heated in the pan
many people died
we continued to plant the orchards
using war-green paint
the trees in my family have survived
while my people lie underneath.

 

 

 

The dresses of the lemons

The dresses of the lemons
yellow-scarred
with fading stitches
touching
lying on top of one another
before behind above
like the family
in front of the camera’s eye
for years
the moist flesh – encased
in its firm rinds
in the darkness of the larder,
of the centuries
a heap in a silver bowl

I took a look at them this week
and tasted their juice.

Anonymos, 1655, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes