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“And also her lips, a chilly shade of pink, the scar / above her right eye.” Marcin Orliński presents ...
2019-06-27 00:00:00


“Portrait of a Woman with a Man at a Casement”, Fra Filippo Lippi, ca. 1440, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

“I’m coming to find you if it takes me all night.”
The Cure


she gave up long ago. you’ll know her by a few
broken nails, hair ripped from her head on the brush,
bruised knuckles and smashed remains
of plates. she didn’t know that not desiring

was enough to get free, that even a chink
in the wall would let in some light, remind her
the air was fit to breathe. she could take it in,
let it out. only recently she began chipping away

at her base, touching up her lashes and her flaws.
And also her lips, a chilly shade of pink, the scar
above her right eye. when she looks in the mirror,
she sees someone fighting for independence.


Author’s note:

A personal declaration of independence, probably the most feminist poem I’ve written to date. The famous call to battle at the Alamo has resonance today: “Remember me!” or even “Remember us!” – as speakers of lyric poems, but more importantly as subjects.


Translated by Karen Kovacik

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Magdalena Gałkowska

was born in 1975 and is still living. She has published four collections of poetry, one hot off the press. She has written all that she’s needed to write. Gałkowska lives and works in Poznań.