only when thousands of kilometres away from you
do I dare admit that I’ve fallen in love
with your sperm, with the death that it brought.
I watched it, spilled out over your stomach,
and drowned my face in it. Its scent, which became
the scent of death, brought me
endless orgasms. As though I were using you
for my self-destructiveness. You know it
too, just in a different way. I’ve
pulled thousands of words from your sperm,
put them to music which held me
on the edge. It seemed to me that I wasn’t worthy
and that you’d leave me too.
I couldn’t get rid of my father who
didn’t think it worthwhile to stand beside me.
That’s why I didn’t find it unusual when you left me
a thousand times. And each time I
returned to the edge of your stomach with wet
cheeks I lay there waiting for you
to get up and leave once more.
—Translated by Elizabeta Zargi and Timothy Liu
Brane Mozetič is a poet, writer, translator, editor, publisher, gay activist, promoter of Slovenian literature abroad and many other things. To date, he has published 14 poetry collections, two novels and a short stories collection. He has more then 30 books published in translation abroad, most of them in Italian, English and German. He has translated over twenty books, mainly from French, including the works of Rimbaud, Genet and Foucault (plus Maalouf, Daoust, Cliff, Brossard, Gassel, Guibert, Dustan, Vilrouge, Duvert, Rachid O, Izoard). Brane is the editor of the book series Aleph and Lambda, which has published more than 100 LGBTQ titles, and has edited several anthologies and publications for the promotion of Slovenian literature abroad. He is the program coordinator of the annual Living Literature Festival and has been coordinating the Ljubljana Gay and Lesbian Film Festival for over twenty years. He is also the author of three provocative performances/installations and three picture books for children.
This poem appeared in Banalities (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2008).