Little Night Prayer
Lord, I'm tired, the bunion on my right foot is throbbing, I worry about myself. Who is this anguished man, Lord? it can't be me, so woeful and sluggish. I would like to trust quietly, but like waves in the ocean, tempers bubble up in me. I try a smile, but some hairdespair impedes me. This isn't all right, Lord, feel pity for me, be scared, reward my endeavors. Evaluate things with me, delete with my own hand what isn't needed. Taste with me what needs to be tasted, and say to me: this is sweet! this is sour! Remind me of the small red car, of something that was good. There was a lot that was good, wasn't there? a lot of sunken islands, crumbled glamour. Place a net into my hands to fish with, in the past and in the present. I'm a fish too, in the night, puckering silver, bubble-lifed. Turn me inside out, freshen me up, throw me up high and catch me! What's it to you, Lord? If you must, lay down your cards, show me something new. How your leaves fall! your sun scorches your wind whistles. Speak to me! Talk with me through the night, it's nothing to you, Lord!
From Unknown Places: Selected Poems of Péter Kántor. Copyright © 2010 by Michael Blumenthal and Pleasure Boat Studio. Used by permission of the translator.