When Someone Goes Away Everything That’s Been Done Comes Back
by Nikola Madzirov
In the embrace on the corner you will recognize
someone’s going away somewhere. It’s always so.
I live between two truths
like a neon light trembling in
an empty hall. My heart collects
more and more people, since they’re not here anymore.
It’s always so. One fourth of our waking hours
is spent in blinking. We forget
things even before we lose them –
the calligraphy notebook, for instance.
Nothing’s ever new. The bus
seat is always warm.
Last words are carried over
like oblique buckets to an ordinary summer fire.
The same will happen all over again tomorrow—
the face, before it vanishes from the photo,
will lose the wrinkles. When someone goes away
everything that’s been done comes back.
Nikola Madzirov was born in 1973 in Macedonia, where he lives today. He works as a poet, essayist, literary translator and editor. His poems, translated many languages, illustrate a world in ruins, above all after the recent wars that wasted the Balkans. The notion of being homeless is a central theme of his work; but this sort of spiritual lack of citizenship can become positive if seen as the ability to change, beyond fixed identities.
Sometimes melancholic or even gloomy, his poems deal with the fragility of the world, and its continuity, in spite of changes.
In his poem , full of melancholy, and sadly ironic (we are lonely and forgetful together) we feel a sort of nostalgia that comes from our shared experience. In the cycle of life, the image of a warm bus seat gives some comfort to our solitude and loss.