Mila Haugová

Eternal Traffic

translated by James Sutherland-Smith

Reprinted with permission of Arc Publications.


I prepare my arrows for low-lying targets.

For the positioning of the plants (your sudden absence)
Along a low horizon (I met you everywhere)
I'm preparing to draw the bow (as abruptly as the first time)
When the horizon rises (refuse to renounce)
And move the targets higher closer (we fall sleep with our face on our sex)
The plants grow touch (sometimes at night we go outside together)
They begin to form a vault (we return to our bodies)
And they cover the targets (a vein in his temple pulses his face darkens)
She will never shoot again (skull bones are created in front of me)
Summer archer (spirit with new form)
He lies with me (a man is most beautiful just after making love)

Everywhere is silent God alone breathes. In the room full of plants. Deprived of pain.


The cradlesong of wild animals (roe deer are never to be wholly tamed)
In a one-way trap of a closed garden (speech)
a persistent and dangerous rain
Words coming in reverse order (sublimation of the alphabet)

Now the tape of my voice turns in an absolute

Silent recording of silence (the roe deer turn and stand
at a precisely determined distance)
In the shadow zone (is there still a place from which they can't see us)
And to kill in cold-blood?

© Mullek and Sherwood