Friday Poem


It’s good that you’re not here. You’d be surprised
how things have gone. How we have coped despite
the difficult conditions—after all, the river
freezes in winter, in summer runs dry. We’re trying

each of the variations on ourselves,
tasting each plant that sprouts up in the yard—
we should be dead already. But this jealousy
is a thorn in the side—despite the fact that you’re

not here, we’ve made a lot of progress in the art
of fashioning your phantom, and we’re good at it,
through power failures and the animals
who come to howl at the planet. In a certain way

it’s good that you’re not here. Your singularity
would grow immense—since each of us still carries
a hole for you inside our hearts, so we just multiply
and gaze at the sky, at the void above the high-rise.

by Tomasz Różycki
Poetry Center San José
translated by Mira Rosenthal