Good as New

‘Almost Blue’, Chet Baker

 

As good as new your heart has room
for jazz in young February light.

A woman (braindead, last breath blown out)
gave your body back its time, beat and swing,

you, whistling along the quay, the heart
a mighty trembling, percussion like no other.

In the bar near the Oldehove, a former
funeral parlour, they ask: And

do you feel her too, deep in your bones,
and do you hear her heartbeat

echo when the souls of the dead
pass through the sky because

perhaps a spark was still there when…

Shh… To me she is the chalice of ancient tabernacles,
her water, my wine.

Hear how downstairs in the bar Chet Baker
plays the slow, almost subterranean

song that finds its beginning in its end.

 

 

 

(*) The Oldehove is a tower in Leeuwarden.

 

Translation: David Colmer