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The Last Breath

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This party has no history.
We just happened upon
those people going out of fashion
and standing on the runway in the wide
wool shoulders of death.

The weather was on the verge of collapsing.
The owner of the winery
filled green bottles with sadness.

We celebrated until dawn.
The music got up to leave.
We said our goodbyes
to the very last word. The last breath.

G

Author Image

Ewa Lipska was born in 1945, in Kraków. Her first collection came out in 1967, and she is most often associated with the Polish New Wave. Volumes of her selected works have appeared in German, English, French, Danish, Dutch, Czech, Slovak, Catalan, Hungarian, Albanian, Serbian, Swedish, and Hebrew. Published in 2009, her novel Sefer was translated into Dutch (as Dr. Sefer, 2010) and English (2012). She also writes drama. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Kościelski Fund Award (Geneva, 1973), the Robert Graves PEN Club award (1979), the Alfred Jurzykowski Foundation award (New York, 1995), “The Gold Key of Smederevo” (Serbia, 2009), the Naim Frasheri Prize (Macedonia, 2010), the Gdynia Literary Award (Poland, 2011), and the International Ipazia Award (Italy, 2014).

Margret Grebowicz is a native speaker of Polish from Łódź. Her translations have appeared in Quarterly West, Literary Imagination, Agni, Poetry International, Field, Two Lines: A Journal of Translation, Mantis, Stand, World Literature Today, Dear Sir, Absinthe, and Third Coast. She is associate professor of philosophy at Goucher College and her latest books are Why Internet Porn Matters and The National Park to Come, both published by Stanford University Press.

Feature image by Walker Evans, Table Setting and Throne Chair in Muriel Draper’s Apartment, New York City, 1934. Gelatin silver print, 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 in. © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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