Reading Szymborska at Friday Harbor

Patrycja Humienik  

                    after Aria Aber

Do I want more music from language?

Curled into myself against a floor-to-ceiling window,

I laugh about the Yeti poem, cry over her 1996 speech —

Whatever inspiration is, it’s born from a continuous

‘I don’t know.’ I read it in English.

In Polish school, I did not like her work.

I did not want to admit how much I don’t know.

How many fields of oil burning. The everlasting

snow, melting. I’m watching an eagle

perched for the hunt, white-headed metronome.

Rapt, still I ask for song. Unspooling

in sound. How can I trust myself

when I am so seduced by beauty?

Scenic lookout, hot women on instagram, denim

sky, muscle of petals. I am not singing,

says the eagle. A tired roar crowds my mouth.

When we drive down Sweet Pea Lane, Gabby says

so sweet it makes my teeth hurt. I write it down.


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