"Take theses roses, my loveley"
(translated by Kika Bomer)

What was the reason for my feeling of alienation from this man, who, since the first time I lay in his arms, brought the word love into my language? My expression, which caught his hasty movements while pulling in the line, was cold.
"Help me", he called, without raising his head.
I sprang on the boat to him and began to roll up the wet rope.
On his face was a wide smile as he turned and said, "We're on our way again!"
I sensed how my lips also swung open, my eyes squinting in a grimace of affection. For a moment the smile on his round face erased all doubt, and I opened my heart; it was so easy to repay his smile with my trust.
His strong hands grasped and turned the rudder until we eventually glided into the current of the river.
Elms and hazelnut bushes and wild Christroses grew on the banks of the river, Oh Father, bring me the branch of a rose. The vines wrapped around the wild climatis, sumptuous bushes decorated with the feathery fruit of last year. From underneath the thick foliage small lances of the spring onion plants made their way to the sky. Meadows sprung up near the water, their blossoms already exploding, the pollen from the cattails showering yellow fountains, vibrating in the mild air carried to us from an eastern breeze.
For days we didn't see another person. Occasionally we saw abandoned farmsteads in coves. A flock of finch swarmed above us and noisily made its way to the forest and disappeared.
The man sat next to the rudder, his eyes gazing into the distance. He often sat like that. Was he thinking of the cities, the landscapes before us? The river in the past few days was widening, but the man had said we were far from its mouth. Had he traveled this way before? He answered no to my questions, but wasn't it possible that he'd forgotten? I've also forgotten much of what lies in my past.
Suddenly the man looked at me. I was leaning on the tiny wall of the cabin, and maybe he'd noticed how I was looking at him.
"Your hair, it shines so nicely in the morning light", he said.
I reached my hand to my hair and let it glide through my fingers. It was so short now that it ended at my breasts when I stood up.
"Will you let it down for me again?" he asked me.
I took the band off my head as I walked to him and crouched at his feet. I looked up and smiled. His hand softly stroked my scalp and then slid down to my cheek.
"Where will our journey take us?" I was clueless, as if newborn.
"To all the landscapes of the world, wherever you want."
I laughed happily at such an offer. "China, Iceland, Patagonia, the Galapago Islands, a ball ..."
As I fantasized, he bent before me and his lips brushed mine. I swung my arms around his neck and pressed myself to his body.
Under the boat swam a giant fish through the slimy ground, his dark back hitting the bottom of our boat. I stiffened in horror but the man, sensing my fear, held me lightly and whispered in my ear, "They are big, but not dangerous to people. You shouldn't fear animals, for you are the mistress, and the animal serves you."
I pulled away from him. I remembered the branch of the rose: small; dark red blossoms; full, heavy, sweet smell. Someone with cold hands had given me the branch. My Lovely, take these roses, but you will pay.

Before us appeared a lush island in the middle of the river. The curling waves netted the plants and we traveled fast, as if driven by a high tide. The man swung the rudder around, his attention focused solely on steering, as if I were a product he needed to transport. Now the current tugged us further into the middle of the river towards the island. The man fell to his knees and swung the rudder around. We were caught in an eddy. Frolicking waves sprung around us. ...

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