by Beinir Bergsson, poet


it’s only a nose, it’s only a nose.

that’s not so bad, is it?

the way things stand I don’t think we need to worry. Hold on.

I know, I’ll make sure to ask the doctor to check my birthmarks next time.


Did you ever say to me:


Don’t hang out with anyone batting for the other team.


No good’ll come of those kids, you once said, I know that


or did you ask


when’ll you make me a granny?


sometimes I think,

no I can sense

that he’s yearning to get away

when I embrace him

I can see

that he’s holding his breath

that my body

is a hot radiator

to the touch

have you ever felt like that?


I’m scared to tell him

                       I WANT KIDS


I have to tell you

sometimes I’ve doubts

especially when he and I are lying in bed and

his forefinger

approaches my


my porous nose

he makes it tickle

three seconds

before he touches me


it tickled too

when dad used to pretend

the toothbrush was an airplane

or actually a jet plane

ready to blast away caries


I showed him (not dad, obviously)

granny’s garden

copied him, straddled his belly

thrust the blood drop petals (you know, fuchsia flowers)

right up under his nose

he started sucking before

the flower had crossed his lips

I could see the sugar fly

into his mouth

like a jet


when we’re back in bed

and his forefinger

is perhaps two seconds

or ten cm away

my blood vessels will widen

my blood rushes from the cheeks

into my nose

the nose blushes

intuits that

the finger is flower semen (pollen, that is)

the tip of the nose fills

arms itself

with oxygen


the forefinger touches

the nose


I taste

rhubarb juice

right at the back

by the innermost


the sugar flies out


Have you seen that birthmark on your arm? Ask the doctor to check it next time


Mamma I can’t talk to him about everything.


I dare not say to him:


                       I LOVE

                       WHEN YOU TAKE MY HAND

                       IN FRONT OF YOUR PARENTS


Did you ever say that to dad?

No, not exactly that, but you know


he and I had a sit down

the other day


and I said to him




Don’t be mad

I should’ve said





yes, he’s quite nice, handsome or clean-cut

he’s also happy to play yugioh (those cards you used to get for me when you’d go to Tórshavn)


I could swear that birthmark wasn’t there the last time I saw you


yes him? I’m afraid


                        I’LL STAY WITH HIM

                        IF HE DOESN’T WANT KIDS


yeah, but don’t you want to be a grandma?


when are you seeing the doctor again?


aha, would you like to meet him?

I quite like him, really


we do all sorts of things at the weekend

sometimes we watch Naruto (that anime you used to tape on VHS for me, no now we watch it on the computer)


it’s just a nose

nothing more than that

just apply a little makeup

and you’ll hardly see it

the cut to the nose


I can kiss it

I was always crying as a child

and you’d always dip my dummy in sugar

remember that?


I saw the dentist last week

and he’ll be doing root canal on three molars



no, don’t transfer me any money


look at me I know

that you bite your nails

when you hide like that



is it next week?

want me to come with


did you know dad used to say


mamma only started thriving on the island

when the subsea tunnel came


or he actually said

that tunnel was a bloody nuisance


wasn’t that true too?


we’d go to Burger King more often

I still have some of the toys

up in the attic


no he’s not like dad

he’s porous

doesn’t drink orange juice at all

doesn’t have breakfast

maybe a cup of coffee

it’s been a long time since I drank cornflakes milk


he’s a bit daddy-like

takes out the rubbish in crocs

and he always knows when I’m pretending to sleep


this is just between us, but it’s ok if aunt knows

I don’t need to get a cat

he sheds just as badly


have you told aunt that?


what about calling her and saying

Hey let’s go grab a coffee


you never go to a café together


no? okay

but call if there’s anything

sure, I’ll tell him you say hello

Translated by Marita Thomsen