No. 8


Anni Sumari  

The Lord of Sipan

On the right of the Lord of Sipan
his adjutant is buried, like a brother
side by side with him, and on his left
another adjutant facing the other way, his feet
level with the Lord of Sipan's ears, as if
his toes were listening to one another
in that silent grave. At the foot of
the Lord of Sipan's bed is a 17-year-old girl
in a splendid headdress, at the head
two more, one upon the other, the left leg
of the one lying on top has been severed.
In a layer of earth a few yards further up
lies a soldier, who cursed his fate even more:
both of his legs unfortunately had to be
snapped off at the ankles, he cried out,
cursed, got drunk, 
raved, spoke a few
words of truth, but was unable to creep away
when the truth arrived.

Around here today: points of colour
in the crowd that the rain bends crouched
azaleas and carnations, a string bag
and live crayfish which are caught for sacrifice,
taken away beyond the reach
of the river god, in the other direction.
The crawling creatures, you should hear them
bawling, raving, cursing the higher beings
and claiming that the system stinks 

Translated from the Finnish by David McDuff 




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