To My Neighbors (This Morning My Flesh is a Lowered Flag)

by Marko Pogacar

Honey melts in tea, completely, unlike you with serious music, and unlike me in

the tense wire of the neverending call, a crowded bar,
no place for you, and the elevators that are always broken,

the stairs unfold into eternity, like conversations about politics, and just as
someone notices that totalitarianism and democracy

are only a question of numbers, someone pulls the plug,
the picture disappears and everything starts again: voices

leaking through walls, and evening falls into your hands, like a miner descending into
his pit, yet still, the shoes left at the door

prove the living exist, but what does it mean to live
as winter comes scrolling like cold breath out of your throat,

and builds its nest in the dark alphabet; all those hurried unknown people with
familiar names, an afternoon split in two, like Korea;

the tea and honey have already melted, inseparable,
and this viscous liquid is love: how do I get to you; how do I reach you?

Translated by Tomislav Kuzmanovic and Kim Addonizio