József Podolszki : If you wake up to that

If you wake up to that your pillow is cold,
and there’s no reason to wear pants,
if you wake up to that there’s another day
you have to pass somehow
for nothing, for no one,
if you wake up to that nauseous feeling
from the years ago consumed
sensless liquid,
well, if that is you wake up to, everything’s in vain
every attempt
because you have nowhere to return,
and the night is the worst refuge,
worse than the worst refuge
where at least fleas and lice
live their world on you
I’m saying if you wake up to that
that you are afraid even to fall asleep in the coming darkness,
then at least don’t brag like:
Look at me, I have survived.
No sense in late heroism,
look at the sun
spark in yourself
don’t burn loaned fires.
Then, maybe, there could be with you
someone
who’s also humiliated
just as you.

Benyamin Bensalah

15.11.2021

Translated from the Hungarian poem of József Podolszki, “Ha arra ébredsz”.

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