Neeltje Maria MinNetherlandsWriting1998

When I think back to the four weeks I stayed, well cared-for, at Civitella, it fills me with great joy and already a bit of home-sickness. Our stay was like a school class trip with only the nicest pupils, accompanied by the most favorite teachers. In so far as I wasn’t distracted by pleasant trips and delicious eating parties, I was able to work in peace and quiet. For me it was a very very special and productive period. WAAR was het?
Het was bij jou thuis.
De stand van de zon?
Het was nacht.
Wat droeg ze, wat had ze aan?
Iets blauws, iets gespikkelds, iets pluizigs?
Iets niets, haar vel had ze aan.
Daaronder haar vlees. Het was nieuw,
zij zou ermee leven gaan.
Hoe voelde ze zich, was ze bang?
Bang is het woord niet. Bevangen,
bevangen is wat ze was,
Weet je ook waar ze aan dacht?
Ik denk dat zij denken moest aan
hoe haar het verlangen zou staan.
Where was it?
At your place, at your home.
The sun’s position?
It was night.
What did she wear, what had she on?
Something blue, or speckled, or fluffy?
A nothing. She wore her skin.
Her flesh underneath. It was new,
she would be living with it.
How did she feel, was she afraid?
Not exactly afraid. Overcome,
overcome, that’s what she was.
Do you know what she was thinking of?
I think she was thinking how
desire would fit her.

Translated from the Dutch by Klaas Vondeling