image by Andrea Garza
Fields Beyond Warszawa
Poem by Ania Jedrzejczyk
A city, a mermaid-fisherman
love affair, a burial ground:
Warsaw pales into summer dusk.
She picks herself up
from rye, barley, poppy fields,
peels her steel spine from the horizon.
Like a paper cut-out,
Pałac Kultury towers over the sky:
a sandstone giant, a soviet gift-
as if you could buy back blood.
But Warsaw just sneers,
and exhales movement into the poplars,
apple orchards, the riverside reeds.
Wisła folds her loose eddies
into lullabies, and wails
for child-soldiers in sewers,
for teenagers who burst midair
into flames of flesh,
wanting Warsaw back:
all 15% of it left.
Out in fields cows fold their legs,
slouch onto the ground,
tear grass and earth apart,
unknowingly preparing for slaughter.