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Kings

by Adam Zagajewski
Illustration by Quenton Miller

Kings

Adam Zagajewski
10 Snaps

I’m a student

Those were days when I walked around a little hungry,
a little dazed, and desire spoke to me
violently. A little lonely,
slightly happy, a bit the actor of myself,
I listened to music, the music was wild,
I admired the Renaissance palaces,
I visited our poor kings
at Wawel Castle and tried to comfort them
and stretched the truth; for all that, though, they
put fingers to their pale lips
and counseled silence. It was winter,
snow smothered the flowers, and the voice
of destiny could not speak soon.
So it was. Woolen gloves. Amen.

—translated from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh

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