They say it was like the collision of seven mountains, six oceans and two
hemispheres. Well, they lied.
Who told you I love you? I lament to the lilies, Actually, I hate you!
I will fill your rivers with limes, flood your sheets with ink,
I'll draw the devil on your pillow and scare the fish with the horns and tail
I pin on you.
I'll make my nipples irresistible and put padlocks on my blouse.
I will cut down every tree on your street and delete your every file,
I will call your name out backwards, I will steal your shirt,
I'll smear tar on your windscreen, scatter nails at the bend in the road,
I'll lock you in the loo and go see a film without a backward glance,
I'll pop a cockroach in your drink and a drawing pin in your shoe,
move all the pieces on the board and ruin every game,
I'll put a desert between us, a whole teeming ocean.
I'll cut your fancy tie into zig zags, I'll slip explosives into your nervous
system. Each night I'll fill your ears with wailing banshees.
I'll let myself change my mind at the drop of a hat but of your every
move I'll keep a log.
The very sound of you - Oh god! - it sets my teeth on edge - and, even
your gloopy eyes, like bowls of syrup, your stink of saffron and red roses,
your heart full of goodluck goldfish, wriggling up against each other!
You know what? If you want to ask me something, I'll tell you straight -
but if you accuse me of anything, I'll just deny it!
I'll pour a Molotov cocktail into your hair; so you'll look like that picture of
I'll stick my fingers into your dreams, to mess you up altogether,
I'll take over your sleep; you'll think there are frogs needling you under
I'll turn the sweetest most tender images into ugly ones;
instead of beautiful birds I'll draw horses in the treetops. You know those
big fat women on Russian dolls? I'll graffiti them all over your table!I'll make you look like a squirrel crossed with a lion and anteater.
Yet I can't just dump you - a tatty, tormenting Tomcat
that can't even find his own way home.
Every arrow points to you. This accordion of streets folds back to you.
But I'm dizzy trying to climb all these summits and towers, trying to learn by heart your long number; these ears and eyes of mine are worn out
I've banged on your walls so hard the plates are smashed to
You may be far away from my sharp barbs but deep inside me it's as if
elephants sing, spinning hoops of fire and flowery-skirted bears
dance on barrels.
Your mad jabbering parrots have even got me hooked on an idea of India.
If only there was some way to tame this dragon, to put the tiger back in
its cage. If only it could be Spring again,
before this greedy animal eats up all the white lilies,
before this monster completely destroys her entire world.
Love is like a red rose that I tie to the stone of myself and aim at your
Tinkle, tinkle, tinkle.
The literal translation of this poem was made by Elhum Shakerifar
The final translated version of the poem is by Maura Dooley
© Poetry Translation Centre 2004-2013