Spring, 1986
by Marek Kazmierski translating from Polish by Wioletta Greg

copyright © Marek Kazmierski 2014

The night was heavy, but the air was alive.
Mike Oldfield

At night, the Chernobyl cloud fell
across pastures. Thyroids swelled.
The pond glowed with murmuring iodine,
swallows kissing crooked mirrors.

The radio kept playing “Moonlight Shadow”.
In the barn, a girl guide from the city started
a club for virgins. Smoking menthols,
we took lessons in preparing for conjugal
life from copies of Playboy instead.

There would be no other end to the world,
and yet it kept coming, like cramps
and acne, until I discovered
spots of dark blood in my underwear.