Ilija Jovanović: Poor Black Skin (From Gurbet Romani)

Poor Black1 Skin
By Ilija Jovanović
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

Poor black skin
it sticks in the white of the eye
like a needle
like a nail
like a knife

A little black man
didn't want to be alone anymore.
His back loaded with books,
he went to live among white people.
He wanted to study with them,
to live with them.

They asked each other
with hardened looks:
what's that black doing here?

Poor black skin
it sticks in the white of the eye
like a knife
like a needle
like a nail.

Notes:

1 - The word for black, kalo, is used as an endonym by some Roma groups such as those of Finland and Spain. 

The Original:

Ćori Kali Morći

Ćori kali morći
phusaves e parnen ande jak
sar jek ćhuri
sar jek dopo
sar jek suv.

Jek cikno kalo
ćikamla maj but
korkoro te trajil.

Lija pese lila
talaj khank
gelo maśkar e parne manuśo
lençar te trajil
lençar te sićol.

Von phućle pes
e zoraja
so ćerel kadava kalo
kadathe.

Ćori kali morći
phusaves e parnen ande jak
sar jek suv
sar jek ćhuri
sar jek dopo.

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