Kamil Bouška




I’m waiting behind a closed door and human voices,
       blurred in the cold acoustics
       of the outside hall, are seeping into the flat.
Head clogged with a choked roar,
       I’m waiting behind a closed door
       and hiding my bristled fur
       among indoor plants.
I’m catching the scent of pits and burrows in an unmade bed,
       on a crumpled sheet
       flecked with literate semen.
I’m catching the scent of jungle beyond balcony windows,
       mute in between chairs and the bed,
       voiceless and wordless, jaws snuggled to silence.
Gums coarsened and tongue numbed.
       I’m waiting for my moment,
       waiting for when you come flowerless.
You’re coming and my fever rises. I’ve tasted this before.
I’ll leap into the wafted air and go for blood.


KAMIL BOUŠKA is a Czech poet. His most recent collection of poetry is Hemisféry (Fra, 2015). His first solo collection, Oheň po slavnosti (Fra, 2011), received two nominations for the Magnesia Litera award, in the Poetry and Discovery of the Year categories. His poems have been chosen for the annual Nejlepší české básně (“Best Czech Poetry”) anthology four years in a row (2009 to 2012).


Read more by Kamil Bouška:

Two more poems in B O D Y
Poem in Guernica


About the Translator:

ONDŘEJ PAZDÍREK is a translator and a poet. He grew up in Prague, Czech Republic and moved to the U.S. at the age of 18. He holds an M.A. in Poetry from the University of Cincinnati. His translations of Kamil Bouška, from the Czech, have previously appeared in Guernica and B O D Y. His own poems have been published in Bayou Magazine, Radar Poetry and Euphony.