Pierre Alferi, p.2

First room. The furniture, objects are arranged
in order of importance around their owner,
and still his worries grow with the domain.
Where are you? It’s time to wake up and go
home. The walls are yellow and the wood blue,
the curtains have a threatening crease. Here I’m
not speaking, a side sticks to the floor, a decal. The body
extends to the six walls; whether it is at home like this,
it doesn’t know. You’re right here—this begins
by shedding, with a moulting—and you can’t figure it.

My childhood room became one of my father’s archives.
An abstract painting on the door, in pastel tones,
Czech nursery rhymes, a hand placed on an ear,
and sleep filled like a pillowcase, blindly chasing
thoughts away to the corners. On a page
the verb to be swells the alveoli, it would suffice to squeeze it
for them to burst.
I am speaking of a non-physical shadow
and an echo. A detachment, an adhesion, entirely other
than being housed, than simply being. This room also,
this bubble that nothing contains, contains principally
Besides the wall paper and the shadow puppets,
and besides a phantom drawer-bed under mine,
I remember nothing. This is the only habitable version
of a body: turned inside-out like a glove.
A place where we are happy, a pleasant stay,
is all I want to find, for you, for me.

There is certainly, even here, something that remains,
which no longer belongs to the child, which the parents
don’t inherit. To live, but in its passive turn,
more a middle voice, without agent or subject.
Rooms, you’ve nonetheless had plenty of them,
if not owned, one in almost every quarter,
in the same way one has an idea.
The first act
is to lose oneself, to shed skins and places as they are.
I mean a kind of idea of a room; so that catching
the idea is what I call crossing the threshold,