Out of Town

Source: Favim
Years later, the water still drips— 
there's no one to tighten the valve. 
It courses through old pipes 
down to the septic tank. 

Next morning in the cellar 
I start the motor with a stick. 
It shakes and rumbles, and chirps— 
the switch is broken is all. 

At night the water arrives 
illegally, undergroundly, 
to the very grave where 
last spring parsley sprouted, 

and at the foot, beside it, 
feral sorrel darkens 
tastily and tartly 
like clandestine sex. 

The motor lifts the spirits 
and returns the night's deductions. 
It's morning, I hum softly— 
a stranger will replace me. 

In the cellar a stream of light 
rinses the window grate, 
it pulses, strikes the meter— 
I catch my rhythm on the stairs. 

And for memory's sake I hum— 
as I pass the septic tank— 
a fluid, underground song 
about sorrel and a stranger.

~ Piotr Sommer

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