Thursday Poem

Incorporeal Ruler

Who owns the earth, you
ask, astonished. By day it's conquered
by square-skulled men:
police. At nights
we reclaim our homeland.
Who owns the leaves of the plane tree,
who tightens clock springs?
So many errors, with an incorporeal
ruler governing a tangible reality;
so many intermediaries, foxlike faces,
sly smiles, deceitful death.

by Adam Zagajewski
from Canvas
Farrar Straus Giroux, 1991
translation: Renata Gorczyski & C.K. Williams