By Claes Andersson
You can live in a house you have never seen, that has never
You can live there with a woman you have
There’s a bed that you exchange because
it’s too narrow.
At the kitchen table you look out over a garden where
lilac and burnet rose bloom.
Right from the outset you feel that it’s a home
although it is not a home.
The rent is so low that you can afford a bottle
of wine every evening.
You can pack it full of friends, sing together
Some stranger has lived there, someone who loved
You can leave the doors unlocked at night
When the urge to depart becomes overwhelming you leave it
When you return you no longer remember
the address, never find it again.
From: Huden där den är som tunnast [The Skin Where It’s Thinnest], Söderströms , Helsinki, 1991.
translated from Finland-Swedish by David McDuff