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"THEY" by Ryszard Kapuściński

They sit
facing one another

she thinks
what a great guy

they drink

outside it's dark
evening surrounds the town
occupies the streets
drives out the pedestrians

suddenly
he reaches inside himself
pulls out a toad
she looks
doesn't believe her eyes

he pulls out cockroaches
a whole handful
octopi, polyps
spiders
crawl out of their own accord
creep

he hurries
there's still more
a tramp's stinky clogs
a bag lady's putrid sack
filthy midgets
vampires
hags

the table at which they sit
(still life with empty bottle)
comes to life

the toad croaks
the cockroaches crawl
the spiders swell with venom

in the poisoned mist
he flounders
stammers

with what remains of his strength
he trundles outside

and disappears

dragging his feet


on the poet

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
helios137
Oct. 21st, 2011 08:25 pm (UTC)
Amazing imagry, but I have no idea what it means. Are these things metaphors for the nasty side of him that he had hid from her before and came out after he started drinking?
karena
Oct. 22nd, 2011 02:40 pm (UTC)
I believe, so, yes. I think also it is a metaphor for someone purposefully subverting a dating experience, as if he was not worthy of a good relationship because of how he perceives himself. Alcohol, for me, is not the main element ("still life"?) although it plays a part, perhaps. He does leave "dragging his feet" as if he was defeated, as if he knew how destructive he was. It's all about him, by the way, and she only figures in the beginning of the poem...
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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