Magdalena Zurawski — IT’S HARD TO BE A SAINT

Magdalena Zurawski



I was sympathetic to language

but often it shrugged me

and kept other lovers. I

crawled through the commas of

Romanticism and rejected the rhythms

though sometimes at night I

could feel a little sad.

I could emerge now into

a new kind of style but

the market is already flooded

and my people have lost

faith in things meant to

land a clear yes or

no. It’s good to welcome

a stranger into the house.

Introduce her to everyone sitting

at the table and wash

your hands before you serve

her lest the residue of

other meals affect your affections.

‘If something is beautiful we do

not even experience pain as

pain.’ (A man said that.)

I think I owe all

words to my friends. ‘We

speak to one another in

circles with ourselves.’ (He said

that too.) That’s why we

go to war. We’ve gotten

too big to be friends

with everyone and so I

like to feel the fellowship

of the person next to

me shooting out across a

foreign plain. The degrees of

light on the horizon are

something I share with him

and this is also a

feeling of love. I spoke

to his widow and touched

his dog. I told his daughter

how his last breath was

Homeric and spoke of nothing

but returning home.