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Poetry

The Guy Who Bought the World

By Tomasz Różycki
Translated from Polish by Mira Rosenthal
Skyscrapers stab the air, huge fingers / prodding the haze.

The guy who bought the world is out for a walk
down Thirty-seventh Street. No one in the least
suspects that the deal just took place and the stock
exchanges keep noting each little increase,
ha, ha, ha. But now, he merges with the flock
of people in the crosswalk and releases
himself to jostling. Yellow taxis blast,
drivers shout in a dozen different dialects,

and he looks up, high, there in air, directly
above where clouds go crazy and whipped gray stirs
into yellow. The twenty-first century
is here, with talk of money and politics, gender
and race. Skyscrapers stab the air, huge fingers
prodding the haze. Cars honk, boys in blue holler.
What a beautiful concert at the center
of the city, do you hear? Are you out there?

© 2013 Tomasz Różycki. By arrangement with the publisher. Translation © 2013 by Mira Rosenthal. All rights reserved.

English

The guy who bought the world is out for a walk
down Thirty-seventh Street. No one in the least
suspects that the deal just took place and the stock
exchanges keep noting each little increase,
ha, ha, ha. But now, he merges with the flock
of people in the crosswalk and releases
himself to jostling. Yellow taxis blast,
drivers shout in a dozen different dialects,

and he looks up, high, there in air, directly
above where clouds go crazy and whipped gray stirs
into yellow. The twenty-first century
is here, with talk of money and politics, gender
and race. Skyscrapers stab the air, huge fingers
prodding the haze. Cars honk, boys in blue holler.
What a beautiful concert at the center
of the city, do you hear? Are you out there?

© 2013 Tomasz Różycki. By arrangement with the publisher. Translation © 2013 by Mira Rosenthal. All rights reserved.

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