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Mary Magdalene


The door closes behind me. A short hallway
I don't resist, as I did not decline your invitation
an hour ago. It came quite unexpectedly
amid the smoke, the worn-out armchairs,
the endless litanies of gain and loss. It came
with welcome urgency and added to my confusion,
which accompanies me, step by step,
as if it were hard to trust its outstretched arms,
the region of light, the swaying of a silver fir
in the arctic. As if thousands of years must pass before
here, in this very room, simple but far from slight,
it would be possible to believe in you again.

Translated from the Slovenian by Andrew Zawacki and the author.

This poem originally ran in the May 23, 2005 issue of the magazine.