Semiatitski, Khaim: Varshe

Warsaw
by Khaim Semiatitski

A yoke lies heavy on you, city,
welded to your back of stones,
you go the way of hundreds of cities,
A mad bully holds the reins and whips your bones.

The sky, like heavy pewter sheet metal,
is hammered onto your roofs,
in cellars and attics holes, under such skies
mothers become whores and fathers
wield knives.

Your court yards lie at night in quarters of the poor,
like heavy black crates
overturned chunks of starry sky
their floor.
Stars twinkle like shards of broken glass
in garbage cans,
beneath the sun of mid day.

And people go about on your streets,
like countless shuttles of a gigantic loom,
all with eyes toward earth,
No one wants to raise eyes past his visor–
All are coming toward here,
There is no there.

from the book by Binem Heller,
Dos Lid is Geblibn, p149

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