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  • Writer's pictureDominika

Ljubljana, by Rodolfo Häsler (own translation)*

Updated: Feb 4, 2021

He goes through an alley of chipped walls,

nosing around in Austro-Hungarian barracks

he highlights a few phrases in blood gothic,

ostrakon of the urgency: Ich bin stärker als Du, Ich warte auf Dir hier in Laibach.

The city that welcomes him is a claim

and confuses when you wander around.

However, it is not easy to understand, you decide and walk, retrace your steps even more, and move from one country to another, but maybe there lies the novelty, a long roaming that inevitably rips you apart with the claws of the dragon itself.

The colonnade hides the baskets

of cabbages, collards and turnips,

and you get ahead

of its offering,

a craving grows, sautéed cabbage,

sour meat,

a taste sweetened by cumin,

the paprika backstitched with cream.

I can't assert if he keeps rambling around,

the movement of the legs, the buttocks,

the insistent flavor of food, dessert,

Cremeschnitt takes you back to when you were ten, the limit of childhood.

The emotion is short-lived.

Choose one of the bridges, again and again

in both directions, it widens

and it narrows as a victim of indecision

that appears and disappears in the mind

like a firework.

For once you sit and scrutinize

the air, the memory of the newly acquired fruit

in the stalls, an apple,

splendid, fills your heart.

Grandma, in German Switzerland,

drank tea in a Rosenthal porcelain service,

and he ran his fingers every afternoon

on the surface of the cup,

punctual, and carried on the fingertips

the little colorful flowers, until he felt at the table

the taste of the apricot tart

on the auxiliary furniture, a domestic emotion difficult to overcome.

So much weakness, family recipe,

It expands like tears for the past life.

* If the English version is not available, the author of the blog offers her own translation.

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