Virginity

By Zuzanna Ginczanka
Translated from the Polish by Joanna Trzeciak Huss

Featured Image: Untitled by Tanner Pearson

We…
A frenzy of hazel trees, disheveled by rain,
a scented nutty buttery crush.
Cows give birth in the humid air
in barns, blazing like stars.
O, ripe currants and lush grains
Sapid to overbrimming.
O, she-wolves feeding their young,
their eyes sweet like lilies.
Sap drips like apiary honey.
Goat udders sag like pumpkins.
The white milk flows like eternity
in the temples of maternal bosoms.

And we…
…in cubes of peach wallpaper
like steel thermoses
hermetic beyond contemplation
entangled up to our necks in dresses
conduct
proper
conversations.


Joanna Trzeciak Huss is an associate professor at Kent State University. Her research concerns translation theory and issues at the intersection of literature and philosophy. Her translations have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Times Literary Supplement, Harpers, The Atlantic, Paris Review, Field, Zvezda, Boston Review, and nonsite, among others. Her books of poetry translation include Miracle Fair: Selected Poems of Wisława Szymborska (W.W. Norton 2001) and Sobbing Superpower: Selected Poems of Tadeusz Różewicz (W.W. Norton 2013). Her Firebird: Collected Poems of Zuzanna Ginczanka is forthcoming in 2022 from Zephyr Press. She is the recipient of the 2020 Michael Heim Prize for Collegial Translation.

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