The Salesman

by Michael Wynn (the author’s own translation from Norwegian)

A man takes a sip of water
and moves from the bed to the kitchen counter.
The hands of the clock turn
while sun and moon rise and fall
ten thousand times.
When the doorbell rings, he is startled.

A stranger enters the room
“Who are you who intrude on me?” the man asks.
“I’ve come to sell you what you need”
“Can’t you stay for a while?
There are billions of stars in the night sky
and when I look up they make me dizzy.”

“No, I cannot sell you friendship”
“Do you know someone who can come then?
Sometimes it gets terribly cold,
The storms rage outside, the walls creak
shivering between drifts of rain and damp snow»

“No, I cannot sell you love”
“But what can you sell me then?”
The salesman digs in his leather briefcase
“I just sell mirrors,” he replies modestly.
“But my face is wrinkled,
my hair white! ” the man cries
upon seeing his reflection.

“I have only one thing to sell»

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