Leonard Kress

She Handed Me an Orange Before We Danced

     After the Polish of Szymon Zimorowic (1608-29)

She handed me an orange before we danced,
promised to show how easily it peeled,
if I would stick around. But as I pulled
her across the floor, spinning great distances,
my hand coming to rest in the small of her back,
still gripping it-the orange lit up from within,
growing hot and glowing, burning through the thin
coating of skin, scorching, leaving a black

residue everywhere. Now I know, still dancing,
unable to break free, how goddamn easily
the heart melts. And how silly it is to link
love to Venus and think of it as her offspring,
not some wildcat or bear from some desolate peninsula
weaned on birch bark, in search of blood to drink.

Rozyna mi w taneczku pomarancze dala…


Hipolit: Polish original by Szymon Zimorowic

EPR #5:

Serapion: Polish by Szymon Zimorowic
The Smuggler: English translation by Leonard Kress


© 2003 Electronic Poetry Review