Defenceless gold

Useful children’s toys

translated by Danae Sioziou

The man who loved me
lived somewhere between
Valhalla and Olympus
in the river of my childhood
with Woglinde, Wellgunde, and Flosshilde
he used to swim
chanted serenades, sent me wishes
with songs in German that sounded
Greek and the opposite.
As if I was back home
in the town that translates as
the Peace of Charles
or an excursion to Alsace
to Besancon with its famous textiles
from all our insouciances
not one is left standing.
The man who loved me
owned a collection of maps
for the course of our hair
he nourished great disillusions
in the face of German tourists
he was seeking after my face
and prayed to finally flung open the borders.
Today he is exhibited stuffed
in the crime museum
punished for immoderate vanity
Like Alberich
first dwarf, then dragon, eventually frog
and laughIng stock of the giants
Ah, the man who loved me
so much water and yet his name
lies buried in my heart
like the gold of Rhine.


      Useful children’s toys, Antipodes editions, 2016

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Edited by Mania Meziti