The Last Poem

always descending
and if only I alone!
were sheltered, in the dark.
The in-front and behind
me beside-me legs
are driving out
this clicking of heels, this stomp
in the metro Châtelet?
Just a single and still
leglesss accordeonist Charon.
And just to where have I strayed?
Eurodyce? Eurodyce?
always descending
always down
and tomorrow they'll say
it's just three elbows underground.

– Aleksander Wat (1967)
[translated from Polish by Norman Crane]

* A few months after writing this poem, Aleksander Wat committed suicide by overdosing on pain killers. He was 67.


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