The Hero’s Triumphant Exodus

Translated from Hungarian by Timea Sipos

Climb up onto my chariot, sweetheart.

I’ll take you free of charge. The sharks planes
are flying lower than ever.
We have to hurry.
My body is stubborn under metal.
I burst forth. My mythical ancestors
would be proud, if they existed. Witty, tenacious figure,
the rebellion runs in my wake, of course,
I can see it. Its red hair.

 

You say my wings protrude,
but that’s only a crescent moon on my shoulders.
Get used to it.
From now on, I’m breaking the mold. And bones.
I’m getting you out of here. To where silent
whales
swim in the sky. What idyll.
Zeppelin-politics and the superstitious,
many-teethed, German faces.

 

I rush, like someone lost. This will surely destroy you.
Speak in your mother’s tongue, we’ll be traveling
together a long time. And I know
you wouldn’t be able to take
my undivided
attention.

 

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photograph of the poet Kornelia Deres
Photo by Krisztian Bokor

Kornélia Deres is a Hungarian poet, editor, and theatre scholar. She earned her PhD in 2015 from Eötvös University (ELTE) in Budapest, where she now works as a junior assistant professor. Her first poetry collection, Szőrapa (“terrycloth father”), was published by the JAK Literary Association for Emerging Writers in 2011 and was awarded the Best Debut Book Prize. Her second poetry collection, entitled Bábhasadás (“the crack of the puppet”), touches upon the interconnections of memory, dreams, cognition, and fiction. Her third poetry collection Box is forthcoming in 2022. Timea Sipos’s English translations of her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, Eurolitkrant, Asymptote, and elsewhere.

Timea Sipos is a Hungarian American writer, poet, and translator. Her writing appears in Prairie Schooner, Passages North, Juked, and The Anthology of Bisexual Poetry, among others. Her translations can be found in the Washington Square Review, The Offing, Asymptote, Two Lines, and elsewhere. Learn more about her work and the online translation workshops she offers at timea-sipos.com. Read Timea Sipos’s story, “What They Call It” here.