Photograph by Laura Veres
After the painting "Bytí" ("Being") by Ivana Pavlová
for our being unable to become intimate
might be that we are scared of warmth;
that we're afraid
former confessions would emerge,
like text fingered into the moisture
when someone breathes
against the windowpane.
We might succeed
if someone built a tunnel
under our houses;
one so long
that after days of wandering
we couldn't tell days and nights apart,
wouldn't know when to wake up
or do our routine tasks;
when to eat, drink or quarrel;
when to start being frightened.
Now we are like those dead
who are resurrected in the night.
They do the same
as any decent person would:
they desperately try to get back to sleep.
Translated by Agnes Marton.
Zita Izso is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the Zsigmond Móricz Literary Grant, the Mihály Babits Literary Translator Grant and the NKA Arts Grant. She published her third poetry collection in 2018 under the title Éjszakai földet érés (Nighttime Landing).