POETRY: Simone Galea

A day at the sea
Copyright Gilbert Calleja
'Ġurnata l-baħar' translated from the Maltese by Ivan Callus

The last time I went for a swim
the waves took me in, sweetly.
Is that how they took in the women
I read of who went for their last swim, is it?

I strained further,
pushed out.
If I tire there’s a boat there, it will take me.

Back at the shore
I saw the umbrellas that shaded me,
the comfort of chairs rested on in spells, fraught.

Further, further.
The lapping, the sun, the breeze,
loud reflections, in the loud colours
of dresses of African women,
their boats sunk, deep.

Slowly their faces rise, stretch to peer,
and I struck out quickly, the hope escape,
but they peaked more visibly
and I knew them
and they called,

go back
go back.

Morning Sickness
A Maltese version of this poem, entitled "Twelid" was published in Xi Drabi Mqar Persuna, 2011.

When I wake up with this sickness in my stomach

I know that I will give birth
to a thousand versions of your forgotten face.

A sickness so longed for
as the words that never come between us

and my need to throw up

your devouring eyes,
my erupting mind.

Your mischievous smile,
my widening lips whispering to me.

Your touch on my sides,
my writing hands emerging from my insides.

And I throw up

knowing that I have to give birth
to a thousand and one poems of your face within me.

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