Mircea Cărtărescu

 

THE GIRL WITH SOCKS OF DIAMOND

 

svelte as an icicle
she glides by on a bicycle
the girl with socks of diamond.
she has hair of diamond
a face of diamond
and a skirt of green brocade.
in this little girl’s glass thigh
you can spy a mechanism with wheels that fly
round and a silver piston.
the wheels fly round
the piston dances
and the teenager advances
trailing her hair of diamond on Calea Moșilor.

under her blouse of ivory
under the breast from which peek out
tiny round snouts of diamond,
she has braids
tied with metallic thread
and her ribs are of diamond.
but here, in her thoracic cage, she keeps a hummingbird.
on the bird’s fourth floor is where I live.
I’m sitting by the window now, staring at oilcloth trees.

it’s so nice inside her chest!
the sky is turquoise blue!
the clouds are made of colored Plasticine
such as, dear reader, it’s possible you’ve never seen—
(perhaps you’ve never been loved by a girl…)
here the sun is of cartilage, the moon of porcelain
and even tractor drivers can quote Paul Celan by rote,
even dandelion and chamomile together
are painted Chinese style with a feather.

what a magic world! through the evening breezes
drive crystal and cinnamon taxis
and between the limousines squeezes
the girl with socks of diamond.
in her glass thigh
perhaps you can spy
toothed wheels and a silver piston
the wheels fly round, the piston dances
and the teenager advances
trailing her hair of diamond on Calea Moșilor.

 

translated by
Adam J. Sorkin and Cristina Hanganu-Bresch

 

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