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This poem is taken from PN Review 248, Volume 45 Number 6, July - August 2019.

Four Poems translated by Nathan Fields
translated from the Czech by Nathan Fields
Milan Děžinský
Atom

It is sixty-five years since Hiroshima,
they write. Should one cup a handful of water from a river,
there is certainly in it at least one atom of oxygen
that Cleopatra exhaled, I have read,
or was it Marilyn?
I hear my daughter’s sobbing
through the wall, in whose marlstone joints
still trembles a tear of builder’s sweat.
The house is secreting saliva from the bedrock.
When she struggled her way into the world,
I paced the room.
Had she been given a gift
of one atom from Hiroshima?


What to Say about a World

that stands out where it’s not smooth.
To disappear in the fields and never return.
...


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