Thursday, April 7, 2022


Look, your life too is becoming
the oil in a lamp on whose surface
the weak blue flame of homeland wanders.
That country, like depression, will steal
your youth and turn it into a codeword,
will take your rapture and give grief;
that country, that clock that won’t run,
black band on a sleeve,
that country where souls are in storage
and bodies are no one’s because death
is paid in advance and it will come,
too early, at dawn, with its forehead of an ape,
too early, the clouds of morning, too early,
a prayer, kiss, the helpless children
fallen too early, and instead of orchids
the ashes of mountain September, cold fog,
the consoling lie, booze and not hell.

Translated by C. K. Williams and Renata Gorczynski

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