from Europe. A Gypsy Epithalamium


II. Bucharest-Budapest. More at Home than Anywhere Else

Once in a while I still move my hands and feet.
But my penis, old twisted compass needle
still points towards Romania; I lie
in a twin bed in Buda floating flatly
in the AC draft sucked in off
the Danube and I feel like I'm drowning
in the dubbed languages of movies
while trying to read the lips of the original smacking
under the 14 channel fishbowl screen...
I never felt more at home in this world.
Hey, what's got into you to make you say that? I think
I heard it, but in fact I misheard something
said in the night, in Hungarian...
or maybe it's the walls' music in the dark.

The father of Josef
Attila was partly
Romanian: a full Magyar.

Andras Gerevich:        Heresy! Tiresias is getting married

          In the racing car
          A wasp's buzz —
          The body under its clothes.

We became regulars at Corvinus pub
          on Kiraly ucza —
                    our red wine companion would always
                              tease us, the Danube
yes, belongs to you (the name is Dacian and all that, blahblah!) but the shit
          is ours, floating down the stream to your place, so
                    enjoy! And then clicking
                              glasses sentimentally:
Now, is it clear? So we conspired
          for the daybreak... Said the Magyar:
                    we'll fill up on wine, words
                              and time, and thus slowly, light
will get pushed out
through our noses — that's how we'll get to smell the sun.

translated from the Romanian by Martin Woodside