by Vladimir Trendafilov



Its secret isit opensboth ways.I’m between.Every single moment I feelI move (if it does),or else get knocked down.Who is thelodgerhere?Did he just come back?Or go out?



Inexplicable rubber ballsjust below the throat.The last onebounces off sideways.WE RULE THE SECRET AS LONG AS WE CANA party’s in full swing now.Me the reason, a little off-center.Six of us, in the kitchen.refresh ourselves withstale stories.Keeping the world from falling apart.A circle is drawing another.Once we signed a contractto hold both ends of thesteel hoop joined tight.Our 40-year-old handshalf-yield.

—Vladimir Trendafilov

Vladimir Trendafilov is a Bulgarian poet, critic, and translator of poetry. After teaching for 18 years in the Department of English and American Studies at the University of Sofia, he now works as editor-in-chief at Bulgarski Tekst Ltd (an agency for film translation and subtitling). His most recent book of poems is The Magician’s Death Dance and Other Poems (1999). He wrote The Indelible Face in the Mirror (1996), a study of the influence of Britain and British social thought on Bulgarian culture. In 1998 he received the Literaturen Forum Award for Best Literary Criticism of the year.

–Naomi Shihab Nye