Mila Haugová

selected poems which appear in the 2010 anthology Six Slovak Poets

translated by John Minahane

Reprinted with permission of Arc Publications.


I can’t tell you anything about that,
but one day your journey’ll stop outside a door,
and you won’t have time to take even your clothes,
you won’t be able to greet mother or father,
nameless you’ll receive a name,
you’ll open,
in the sudden brief fissure you’ll see
dark, inscrutable waters,
reflection of a hazy star,
that which you love, unknown,
and all you’ll manage is to
slightly part your lips.


perhaps… she longed for branching
tended paths

perhaps… she longed for water spurting
from the moss (velvet and tender powdering
of spores)

perhaps… she longed to choose and to fill
separation: he arrived and everything
was whole

perhaps… she longed for the recurring
track. hooves of hibernating
hinds in snow without one single
drop of blood

perhaps… she longed for the shelters of the forest.
to renounce the movement of gifts;
to accept his irreplaceable


the little beast that begs with its eyes
lies down near me on the pillow blue and

smooth. i’m tired it says.
i’ll be here with you. i want to be here with you

desire is the portent of every deed
knowledge and love the road which moves

with the body. reasons of the heart
i want to be here with you


in a translucent forest leaves are falling
on the torsos of bodies that make love
with all that still remains

the ocean swallows hair mouth groans
light penetrates to the sea floor
prayer beseeching
sea-change pure endurance

vigilant choice: winter
icon in an immaculate countryside


(face between two lines)
all masks are convenient

i shift the place of things’ movement
(desire to change: do not look

flee) no one will look round then
he does not love you. he does not know you.

leave him along with yourself. all
that you don’t need abandon. you won’t be

in the first line of guilt. his skin
under my childhood. desire to embrace him

because he is bad. riverbed. bachbett.
breathe deep on the bed of the stream.

come to me. where precisely you happen
to be now. to love. these seashores.

his mirth like arcades. i will forgive
evil words.

© Mullek and Sherwood