Evening, Stary Sacz

By Adam Zagajewski

Translated By Clare Cavanagh

The sun sets behind the market square, and the nettle leaves reflect
the small town’s imperfections. Teapots whistle in the houses,
like many trains departing simultaneously.
Bonfires flame on meadows and their long sighs
weave above the trees like drifting kites.
The last pilgrims return from the church uncertainly.
TV sets awaken, and instantly know all,
like the demons of Alexandria with swindlers’ swarthy faces.
Knives descend on bread, on sausage, on wood, on offerings.
The sky grows darker; angels used to hide there,
but now it’s just the police sergeant and his dear departed motorcycle.
Rain falls, the cobbled streets grow black.
Little abysses open between the stones.

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