The Smells of Evil

Let them hate, as long as they fear.
--from the tragedy of Lucius Actius, Atreus



The secret agent of order.
He would prefer to present before the court
the chaos of uncertainty.


He places a teaspoon of obligatory jam
into the mouth of a child.
The assimilated taste
passes from mouth to mouth.


The univocal believer
has mastered to perfection
the smells of evil.


The valedictorian of the unenlightened star
gazing into the sky of hypocrisy.


Yet bound
to the black sect of night,
when the widow of good deeds
haunts him,
with the treacherous offer of
a sensual coup d'etat.


Translation of "Zapachy Zła." Copyright Ewa Lipska. By arrangement with the author.Translation copyright 2007 Robin Davidson and Ewa Elżbieta Nowakowska. All rights reserved.


Read Ewa Lipska's "Number One."