Milosz Biedrzycki Realism: Returning from Work

an enamelled, black sky unclenches its muzzle
just for a moment, reveals in a flash
its palatal nerve-mass—that’s all. darkness,
the rattle of stone-laden carts, wind.

first raindrops tumble like acrobats
from leaf to leaf of the poplar tree. wide,
quivering in wind. as long as they don’t
fall to the boulevard asphalt, burst in-

to a star, one of the ones that up above
failed to ignite. wind gives wings to
runners, inflates the sails of their backs.
i pedal on, again against the current,

head bowed—stubborn ram—
wind trapped in the tails of my jacket
courses along an exhausted
spine, freezes the heart in a cage—

—translated from Polish by W. Martin