I Was Watching The Bushes



Sándor Csoóri 


I Was Watching The Bushes

War news on the radio in the evening
and soldiers in the tree-lined alley that seals infinity-
I didn't close my eyes all night,
as though I'd kept vigil at the city morgue over a woman's
    car-crushed corpse.

The neighbor's clock struck four when I got dressed
    and aimlessly set off.
The streets were still lying numb with cold, stiff
like lamp posts flattened in the mud.
I was sickened by the strong stink of pitch.

I was watching the bushes, what was going on?
    watching the windows,
      the dirty water that gathered in the hollows,
and above the puddles, my head's drifting shadow.

In the park opposite
    it seemed as if someone had been digging
      a pit for himself among the trees,
wrists stirred, clods thudded-

Maybe each last judgment, each ravagement starts afresh?
and flies will walk
    on hands, dead eyeballs,
      as though on light bulbs that have burnt out.

(Translated from the Hungarian by Len Roberts and Anette Marta)


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