Saturday, September 12, 2020


What’s it like to be a human
the bird asked

I myself don’t know
it’s being held prisoner by your skin
while reaching infinity

being a captive of your scrap of time
while touching eternity

being hopelessly uncertain
and helplessly hopeful

being a needle of frost
and a handful of heat

breathing in the air
and choking wordlessly

it’s being on fire
with a nest made of ashes

eating bread
while filling up on hunger

it’s dying without love
it’s loving through death

That’s funny said the bird
and flew effortlessly up into the air

—Anna Kamienska 
from Astonishments 
translated by Grazyna Drabik and David Curzon
with thanks to love is a place