in the city of dogs
the crystals have grown too fast: to crush
between one’s teeth, to scratch the neck. to
copy the curves on canvas silently with slender
the water here by the roadside: perhaps to
preserve sludge by the process of sewage
disposal, according to an old secret formula.
the smell — the will to survive, the smell of
cheese and fish.
and small stains on the surface: none other
than yesterday’s delicious dogfood.
mice are fast, too:
underground. in colours. under the seat. they
seek food. in between two trains.
they went completely deaf: guided — like you
— by the trembling of wheels and legs.
the last shells. of previous days. (to preserve
sludge by the process of sewage disposal).
another of your faces in the darkened mirror.
each time belonging to a race that is enchanted.
you feel sorry for the slow ones, for all those
who stopped to show their palm and bare
forearm, all those who let their private skin
slip out from the sleeve exposed to full view.
and if a casual smile stops on you, it will
what you wear under your hair
here too is mostly called by one of the
common first names.
© Mária Ferenčuhová, translated by Marián Andričík