The Blue Velvet Tale

I lived in a purgatory called Tartak, in Biznes Centrum, remember?
The beer there foaming like the sea does here. The barman crippled.
The Armenians’ capped teeth gleaming gold. Sesames opening
under the tables for all sorts of martyrs. The only holy thing
the turning of ice cubes into water. Absolut absolving everyone.

We hid in corners, half-naked. Wigs smelling of straw.
In the hands of old Wadim we were all of velvet: Polish birds,
Bulgarian blenders and Russian furs. Now I no longer like
seeing my face reflected in shop windows, I want to return,
swear all I care to in Polish, bite my fake nails, high heels bobbing.

Wioletta Grzegorzewska (trans. Marek Kazmierski)

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