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At night three elements enjoy our bodies.

Fire, water, air. One moment you're water

then air the next, but flame encircles all.

At night we are reduced, small bits of tar,

soot on our skins, in cups. A storm enters

the room and clouds the mirror. There are others

from far away who look on us as food,

they eat and drink. They find each orifice

and enter us. Our bodies then become

the final element of earth and turn

to ash, dust, coal, compost where insects live

and snails leave tracks you ask about at dawn.

Once, at the world's end, I threw a stone into

the open mouth of hell; I can't complain.

The Storm

Mira Rosenthal, translation from
the Polish written by Tomasz Rozycki

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