23rd February 2023


2 minutes read

Csenger Kertai

For My Good

translated by Diana Senechal

23rd February 2023

2 minutes read

Like the matter I flow through
while my sediment stays behind,
such dams you raised against the wild waters.

The city before me is pure ripple;
lightning-bolts, rains and storms,
now tamed into quiet, wait for
me to cross over to you.

That’s how each day begins.
Out of little wells
the water bursts onto the streets,
wraps up the roofs and the morning

glimmer that clings to the asphalt,
but instead of going naked,
the sky wraps itself in garments,
so that I may hear the restless fields
under the rancid ground.

The ignited gems in a jeweler’s vitrine
keep vigil over me,
and I can’t make even a sliver of love with the girl,
because you made her like the dam
that I flow through
while my sediment stays behind.

Of course I knock it down.
In the evenings the swollen river
carries soil to its place,
and chapels turn up on it, silently

proclaiming that there is nothing else,
just what the current builds in me each morning,
and the summer cicadas break down at night with their song.


The original Hungarian poem was published in Csenger Kertai’s poetry collection Hogy nekem jó legyen (Budapest: Napkút Kiadó, 2021).




written by

Csenger Kertai

More about the author

translated by

Diana Senechal

More about the translator


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