11. Headwinds

When I began to write, I didn’t know

each of my words would bit by bit remove

things from the world and in return leave blank

spaces. That poems would begin to take

 

the place of my own homeland, mother, father,

first love, and second youth, and what I write

would fade from this world, trade its solid being

for unstable existence, turn to air,

 

wind, tremors, fire. And what my poems touch on

would freeze in life and crumble into small

particles, nearly turn to antimatter,

completely invisible dust, spinning

 

in the air a long time, till finally falling

into your eye, making it start to water.

Tomasz Rózycki, “11. Headwinds,” from Colonies. English Translation Copyright © 2013 by Mira Rosenthal. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Source: Colonies (Zephyr Press, 2013)