A Rough Pillow by Oktay Rıfat

Where were we? Here were we?—Now it’s impossible to tell.
It was a rough pillow we shared!
It was us or perhaps someone else who was like us,
The fruit of our love, the immortal child.

Soaking wet from the rain of those dreams,
Our coming smeared with sticky blood
Will never go out of my mind,
The gentle pulling out like swimming
In the clear sunny waters of the days,
Turning into ourselves from our mother’s womb,
That first scream, that first blue, that first breath of air.

translated by Ruth Christie & Richard McKane

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