without passion

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Old Marx
Adam Zagajewski

He can’t think.
London is damp,
in every room someone coughs.
He never did like winter.
He rewrites past manuscripts
time and again, without passion.
The yellow paper
is fragile as consumption.

Why does life race
stubbornly toward destruction?
But spring returns in dreams,
with snow that doesn’t speak
in any known tongue.
And where does love fit
within his system?
Where you find blue flowers.

He despises anarchists,
idealists bore him.
He receives reports from Russia,
far too detailed.
The French grow rich.
Poland is common and quiet.
America never stops growing.
Blood is everywhere,

perhaps the wallpaper needs changing.
He begins to suspect
that poor humankind
will always trudge
across the old earth
like the local lunatic
shaking her fists
at an unseen God.

Photo (c) 2013 Ruben Gustav used under Creative Commons license.

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