___________ 

No. 10 - 11

________________________________________________ 

Valzhyna Mort 
 ________________________________________________

Polish Immigrants 

how do they break away from the land
where even stones take root

how do two languages share one mouth
like two women in one kitchen

how do they bring their bloody bodies
wrapped in accordions instead of bandage
through Security

do new hotels remind them
of boxes of german chocolate

is it true that their pillows
are stuffed with soil
softer than any feather

their faces differ from the localsí
by the number of wrinkles 
as if they started 
sculpturing something new out of their skin
but then stopped having changed their mind
and never finished their reincarnation

the tiny wrinkles in the corners of their eyes
twisted and shiny from sweat
like bonbon wrappers
but when you look into those eyes
you are looking down the barrel of a gun Ė
what do you need 
in the territory of their city
painted on the wall of the restaurant ďTaste of EuropeĒ

and there, that very taste
fills your eyes with saliva
 
 

Belarusian

II

outside your borders,
they built a huge orphanage,
and you left us there, belarus,
maybe we were born without legs?
maybe we worshipped the wrong gods?
maybe we brought you misfortune?
maybe we were deathly sick?
maybe you were not able to feed us?
but couldnít we just beg for food?!
maybe you never really wanted us,
but at first we also 
didnít know how to love you.

your language is so small
that it canít even speak yet,
but you, belarus, are hysterical,
you are certain
that midwives mixed up the bundles.
what if youíre feeding somebody elseís baby?!
letting anotherís language suck your own milk?!
a bluish language lying on the window sill Ė 
is it a language or last yearís hoar-frost?
is it hoar-frost or an iconís shadow? 
is it a shadow or just nothing?

itís not a language.
it doesnít have any system.
it is like death Ė sudden and unscrupulous.
like death you can never die from,
like death that brings the dead to life.

language that makes you burn newly borns
language that makes a brother kill a brother
language that nobody can hide from
language that delivers men-freaks
delivers women-beggars
delivers headless beasts
delivers toads with human voices

this language does not exist!
it doesnít have any system!
itís impossible to talk to it Ė
it strikes you in the face at once!
even on holidays
you wont decorate the city with it
it canít be doctored up neither with fireworks
nor neon light

oh, come on, let this system kiss my
a c c o r d i o n

and my accordion
when it stretches its bellows
my accordion looks
like mountain picks
it eats from my hands
it licks them and like a kid
wonít get off my lap
but time will come and it will
show its ta ra ta ta

 

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