to Tua F.



I write to you because I could not be with you this evening, I am sorry.

Were those people friendly and a little bit cautious

with you? I assume they were.

The children are asleep. It is two o’clock at night and silent at home.

I switched on the radio. Each voice can provide inspiration.  Yes,

that is what you said. In a few hours you will return.

Tua, you did not leave me much choice.

That voice, dark at the other side of the room, says

that the seas live their own lifes,

apart from ours. We too live our lifes

apart from each other, apart from our house and our bed, and apart from our books

and our thoughts. And this does not even surprise us.

We live with our hands.

In a few minutes I will go to sleep and then a strange connection

will appear between my breathing and the gliding of the seas

and your breathing. And this will not surprise us either.

My breathing is quiet and slow.

I just wrote the word seas and at the same time I was thinking of contractions,

of gliding pains. But what I want to ask you tonight,

Tua, is if I can call you a sister.

I pin my hope on your serious nature.

I hope your answer will stand apart from what lies between us

and separates us daily? And apart from our bodies.

Because men – even a half-man like me – always think

of the body.  You certainly know.

This will not surprise you either.

Today autumn has set in here. I stand in the garden and my breathing

generates small passing clouds in the chilly air.

How do you spend your days in Ekenas now? In silence,

even without the whinnying of a horse,

with only the whispering of voices at night in your house?

How can I picture your day today?




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Joris Iven