05. 16. 2007. 09:03

Martyr

"You may strike me down. I will not strike back. / My hand is feeble for ill. / In place of the slumping body, unswayable / my true body stands strong." (Motto)

Martyr
 
Atop the funnels of pillars of fire
hovers the dreadful throne.
In place of seraphs and griffins
they stand, their bones aglow.
The misshapen forest of their hands
babbles in the void, scraggy wings,
like living rods, sway
in the muteness of the spokes of light.
 
The air grows thick,
the heights bind to a shaft.
It falls into rungs, tautens,
I support the base of the ladder,
the world crumbles to dust beneath me,
but above the sky, more firm than steel,
begins to strike its chorus,
the song of the saved:
 
Holy, holy, holy am I,
my body sheer gas,
soap and gas, soap and gas,
my gloria dreadful.
 
A page of fire, their faces but this,
who discerns them, one from the other?
The skies flicker, unclothed
flicker the living perished.
Among the thirty-kilo cherubs,
she too stands, which is her face,
a page of fire – six million
lights alike enshroud her.
 
The ladder stirs, its gleaming
rungs lift me into the heights.
The earth its tapering base,
its top taut to the fires,
and they seize me from on high,
I don’t want this, but in vain,
and I dig my teeth
into the terrible coals of the altar.
 
Six-million ore pillars aglow,
who knows by now which is the mother?
The flame wreathes, rises, and spreads,
ravishes my bones.
Lo, here I am, lo, here I am,
traversing the ridges of every
barricade and trench, I am here,
and I flicker, because they too flicker.
 

Translated by: Thomas Cooper

Tags: Magda Székely