Kamil Bouška




You are at the end of the day and your hands turn quiet on things. You are at the end of the day, just as you are, as table, plate, butter knife, man alone with no profession, only man. You lie down and night lights up network connections inside you, cascading cities set in slopes under swirling ridges, waterfalls of flat roofs, pillars of white stone, phosphorous lights in windows and behind them voices, families, destinies, of man, which you are. So many people in the world. Truly, is no one superfluous? So much light in a single night, which we are, you and I.


KAMIL BOUŠKA is a Czech poet based in Prague. His latest collection, Inventura (Inventory, 2018), from which the poem here is taken, was nominated for the prestigious Czech literary award Magnesia Litera. His poems in English translation have been widely published in literary magazines in the United States and elsewhere.


Read more by Kamil Bouška:

Two poems in B O D Y
Another poem in B O D Y
Two poems in The Stockholm Review
Poem in Guernica


About the Translator:

ONDŘEJ PAZDÍREK is a Czech-American writer and translator. He is the winner of the 2017 Beacon Street Prize in poetry from Redivider. His work has been nominated for the Bettering American Poetry and Pushcart Prize anthologies. His poems and translations have appeared in Guernica, PANK, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Southern Humanities Review, and The Stockholm Review, among others. He lives in Iowa City.