I have hidden inside a sea shell
but forgotten in which.
Now daily I dive,
filtering the sea through my fingers,
to find myself.
Sometimes I think
a giant fish has swallowed me.
Looking for it everywhere I want to make sure
it will get me completely.
The sea-bed attracts me, and
I’m repelled by millions
of sea shells that all look alike.
Help, I am one of them.
If only I knew, which.
How often I’ve gone straight up
to one of them, saying: That’s me.
Only, when I prised it open
it was empty.
“The Sea Shell” from Selected Poems by Marin Sorescu, translated by Michael Hamburger. Published in 1983 by Bloodaxe Books. www.bloodaxebooks.com
Source: Selected Poems
(Bloodaxe Books, 1983)