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The Touch of Skin

Pia Tafdrup: The Touch of Skin. Poems. Gyldendal 2022. Cover: Ida Balslev-Olesen. The poem is translated by David McDuff

The touch of Skin

YOU ARE A SKY


You are a sky
of wind, you breathe
all over my skin,

form with your breath
the gentlest breeze, it sweeps in
over my naked body,

comforts and blows pain away,
as I remember my mother
breathing on my knee or elbow, there,
where I had hurt myself.

Your stream of air strokes warm
over the skin, a feather-like touch
shapes a bridge between us.

You quietly breathe my anger away,
my fear and tension, nothing
prevents you, you are full of strength,
you breathe over my skin,
touch my mind,

your breath cradles and soothes,
the light kisses me,
kisses my dreams.