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A minimidrash about a boy and a screw

If I don’t fall asleep, how will I wake up?

Is it some kind of day today? I should have called the company
Mrs Tina, says mom. She gathers all underneath herself,
because she dreamed she held me in her arms
asking, do you see me, and you don’t see me.

Sugar unstirred, prehistoric leaves,
some round memories, lights nice and less nice,
every day a helicopter films us through the roof,
though you can’t see much. Maybe you’re watching us now.


On the strap

Nobody died in that movie, nobody wanted anything there.
It rattled in the room, so I got up to check,
an incubated ward of eight hundred tons of basalt, your mom.
Someone was buzzing in
for one and a half, two hours and then entered the code and let themselves in.
Like a rainbow mushroom on Our Lady’s face
loneliness blooms, of a woman and of the human race. When you don’t dream about
                                                                                                     herds of drowned
cows, the night likes to bring
more and more silly prophecies, five, four,
three stars of anise, that were left to leave and come back,
to throw a penny out of the window, understand each other telepathically.

Child wants to learn about wind, about electricity,
and all I have with me is a green shawl
so we can pretend to be the sea.


Little radio

I got up early, bought drinks and cookies
but instead to people, I went to a cemetery,
where it’s a world receiver said on a stone.
What is it that we would one day refuse
to give you, are you taking from us? Honestly,
honestly, I don’t know what to think of you,
who instead as a deep blue river or an eon of bubbles,
you prefer to come as a bald stubble-field,
eternal verge, appeal in a glass day-care.
Unstopped divisor, you with that grainy paw
of newborns’ autopsies I don’t know if I want
you to touch me. I’m telling you, honestly.  


Justyna Bargielska was born in 1977, and is a social activist, poet and writer. She is the author of five books of poetry and two books of prose. Her most recent books are Małe lisy (prose) and Nudelman (poetry). She has twice received the prestigious Nagroda Literacka Gdynia. She lives in Warsaw.

Katarzyna Szuster teaches in the Department of Foreign Languages at the University of Nizwa in Oman. She earned her MA in English philology from the University of Łódź, where she also completed postgraduate studies in editing and publishing. Her translations have appeared in Arterie, Aufgabe, Biweekly, Dekadentzya, Moria, Words Without Borders, the anthology Free Over Blood (OFF_Press), the chapbook Passenger Ultrasound (Toad Press) and publications of Wysoki Zamek Press.