___________ 

No. 6

________________________________________________ 

Jerzy Ficowski  


Translated from the Polish by Ryszard Reisner  

 ________________________________________________

THE QUEUE

                       for Rafael Scharf

in my little town 
tumbledown the once Jew
the little shop dead
board and nail
has still a milky mist
out back a
half crescent roll
carp of deep silence

post-like before him 
in a queue
of hunger
stare young and old
shrouds but of memory
now shifting 
from leg to leg
from day to day
from place to
place where execution
loses hope
 
 

LIST OF TELEPHONE SUBSCRIBERS, WARSAW, 1938/39.

                                                                for Rafael Scharf

After the sudden shift of exact addresses
to onomastics in general
figures returned to the abstraction of numbers
and the body became word
in the Peerage of Subscribers

These are the chosen attested
who are No One on the streets of None Left 
and they still come by so precisely
that itís possible to cross
blindfolded to the other side
to that kiosk with seeds and sour bread leaven
They crossed to the other side
and stand outside time
in queues of printed letters
and all is in order
alphabetically
on the lists of non-attendance 

And a dead phone calls them back
and rings in empty places its dark ring
for those once caught
red handed with
life
 

KAZAKHSTAN ZSRR

they let us out of the wagons
thatís it

and not a thing not

a river
to drown in

a tree
to hang yourself

 

__________

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