‘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