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[There was only this joy—]

ISSUE:  Fall 2011

There was only this joy—
I was on his lap
when he squeezed juice from an orange peel
into my eyes.

Then he stopped thinking of me

as he lit a cigarette,

but I still could hardly walk.
I came sliding off his lap

and pressed my cheek to his shoe …

How different the sound under the table—
the voices of guests,

stifled noises,

stifling space.

barely did my lashes

dry from the orange-juice drenching.

There was this one joy …

—Translated from the Georgian by Timothy Kercher and Nene Giorgadze


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