This poem is taken from Stand 221, 17(1) March - May 2019.

Nirwan Dewanto Four Poems
Translated by John H McGlynn
Fried Egg
—to Sigmar Polke


Only eyes that once tethered
The blue of the sea may weigh
This fragile and trembling shell.

Only fingers that once fought
With the red of blood may scale
The hump on this devil’s back.

Only a heart that once incubated
In a cellar may rightfully take pity
On the fissure holding back this phlegm.

Only a painting that allows green mould
To grow on it can quickly distinguish
The egg of a woman from one of fire.

Only a poet who has not completed
Exploring the expanse of white will be rewarded
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