Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Marjolijn van Heemstra

BODY SCAN

At my request, the woman behind the scanner shows me myself. I was
curious about the deepest visible skin, about the layer beneath nakedness. With glossy fingers
she shows me the spots. The scan, she says, measures your temperature.
This is heat, where it lights up, and this is cold. I see the soil climate in which I thrive
and the hot circuit laying life in me.

There is plenty of activity around my stomach, a radiating circle reaching almost to my heart.
My arms hang dark and aimless by my trunk, though. My head
a moonless night, three pale comets emitting a dusky glow,
nothing shines in my shoulders and my legs go out halfway. 

A queue is forming behind me, further on an aeroplane wait, but I stand
nailed to the floor in front of the computer screen. An undersized paramecium,
black as black, astonished by the scope of my darkness.

BODYSCAN

BODYSCAN

Op mijn verzoek laat de vrouw achter de scanner mij mezelf zien. Ik was
benieuwd naar de diepste schil zichtbaar, naar de laag onder het naakt. Ze wijst
me met glanzende vingers de vlekken. De scan, zegt ze, meet uw temperatuur.
Dit is hitte, waar het oplicht, en dit is kou. Ik zie het grondklimaat waarin ik gedij
en de warme baan die leven in mij aflegt.

Rond mijn maag is veel activiteit, een stralende cirkel tot dicht bij mijn hart.
Maar mijn armen hangen donker en doelloos naast mijn romp. Mijn hoofd
een maanloze nacht, drie zwakke kometen verspreiden een schemerige gloed,
er schijnt niets in mijn schouders en mijn benen doven halverwege.

Er staat achter mij een rij te wachten, verderop een vliegtuig klaar, maar ik sta
genageld aan de vloer voor het computerscherm. Een ondermaats pantoffeldier,
vol zwart, verbijsterd over de omvang van mijn duisternis.

Close

BODY SCAN

At my request, the woman behind the scanner shows me myself. I was
curious about the deepest visible skin, about the layer beneath nakedness. With glossy fingers
she shows me the spots. The scan, she says, measures your temperature.
This is heat, where it lights up, and this is cold. I see the soil climate in which I thrive
and the hot circuit laying life in me.

There is plenty of activity around my stomach, a radiating circle reaching almost to my heart.
My arms hang dark and aimless by my trunk, though. My head
a moonless night, three pale comets emitting a dusky glow,
nothing shines in my shoulders and my legs go out halfway. 

A queue is forming behind me, further on an aeroplane wait, but I stand
nailed to the floor in front of the computer screen. An undersized paramecium,
black as black, astonished by the scope of my darkness.

BODY SCAN

At my request, the woman behind the scanner shows me myself. I was
curious about the deepest visible skin, about the layer beneath nakedness. With glossy fingers
she shows me the spots. The scan, she says, measures your temperature.
This is heat, where it lights up, and this is cold. I see the soil climate in which I thrive
and the hot circuit laying life in me.

There is plenty of activity around my stomach, a radiating circle reaching almost to my heart.
My arms hang dark and aimless by my trunk, though. My head
a moonless night, three pale comets emitting a dusky glow,
nothing shines in my shoulders and my legs go out halfway. 

A queue is forming behind me, further on an aeroplane wait, but I stand
nailed to the floor in front of the computer screen. An undersized paramecium,
black as black, astonished by the scope of my darkness.

Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère