You will try to become the author they pay
you to translate. You will sit and read letters,
snap up each bio, look into the economic decline
that went mad one year and allowed him to stage his work.
You can stage. You can hoist up the curtain
in a way that cracks the wrists, and push out to act
character after character to say your words,
not his, though it is not your name in lights.
Or look to the Greeks. They were superficial.
They were profound. Because nothing is hidden,
nothing is arcane, lost in some dim volume
in some dim bookshop in some dim Berlin back yard.
Nothing is hidden. Take that statue, collected in the museum,
nude to an apple but coming out of Greece,
and spot her breathe as you sip an espresso,
wondering which card to send to Jerome.
Feel. You write on the skin. Your translator’s tattoo.
© (Philip Wilson) 2013