Thursday, February 14, 2019


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 locals'

by the number of wrinkles

as if they started

sculpturing something new out of their skin

but then stopped having changed their minds

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 —

what do you need

in the territory of their city

painted on the wall of the restaurant

Taste of Europe

and there

that very taste

fills your eyes with saliva


Valzhyna Mort
Factory of Tears
Copper Canyon Press