In this piece from the Finnish-Swedish poet’s new collection, Houdini is an escape artist who longs for human connection
I went to the basement on the afternoon of the
nineteenth of August and made a carpet from
galvanised three-inch nails and ice-green shards of
bottles I had thrown on the stone floor.
The audience roars when on the carpet I slowly stretch out
my wonderful back.
I can break out of all the strongboxes there have ever been.
I walk with light steps in my star-strewn slippers.
Everyone asks about my age and that the wounds don’t bleed.
I give no interviews and think in the morning
and the evening when I fall asleep about one thing. That one goes
up to someone and means something. That one will stay.
I wanted to change my life! Sometimes I think
I glimpse a beloved figure at the bus stop,
like a movement only, there was often someone else in a
dark blue jacket and yet we vanish in the glitter.