Daniel Firman: Lea
As if you had never had a face.
You turn away, throw yourself against the wall.
I know if you had been programmed to move,
You would be pulling down your red blouse,
But you’ve been standing like this for months,
Your hair, ironed straight as an arrow, cannot be disheveled.
Untouchable, like the pieces resembling body parts,
pieces out of which you were assembled.
Your arms cannot rotate at the shoulder, your legs
cannot bend at the knee, nor your torso at the hip,
and the insensibility of the rigid gesture cannot be translated.
The gesture that pushes its way between us, like
your existence between disassembly and assembly.
A blouse pulled tight over your head, your arm propped against the wall.
You could be an unfamiliar woman from the underpass,
a blue-stocking brought home from the library,
a one-night stand explained by alcohol,
or my true love before first sight,
who undresses, removes her materials without eye contact.
But you could even be what they really meant you to be:
a statue, with a wig and feelings bundled into
the stump of a head. A doll on which they forgot to set up
the face. A submissive window-display babe,
wrapped in tops, hose, and miniskirts
waiting to be peeled off. You’re a toy accoutrement,
which someday will be on display in the main square.
You’ll throw yourself against the wall of the church,
so that the faithful can watch you
before the service. How you just lean against the crumbling wall,
with your concave back, pulling down your red blouse,
faded with artificial light, for a time beyond reckoning.
And the ultramarine of your skirt
promising redemption at the wailing wall,
until they carry you away for good.
Translator: Thomas Cooper