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dancing on broken glass

​fragile city
walls of houses
quiver in anticipation
windows crack with desire
feverish ventilation systems
and safety circuits
and down on the waterfront
the fragile surface of the river
bears off thousands of dreams
from only this one night
fragile screams
fragile footsteps
fragile eyes behind the windows of nightclubs
fragile shadows of street walkers
fragile mom
fragile dad
the fragile eyes of fragile plush toys
a little girl in a white dress
dances on broken glass
raises her hands above her head
oh what wonderful air
what a beautiful sky
the shards are a construction kit of the world
the shards are a kaleidoscope
fragile is the silence of the night
littered with a thousand brittle stars

fragile is the loneliness
which rolls through the city streets
like a flood
the solitude of the first breakup

as quick
as first love
because everyone in class already broke up with someone
only eva hasn‘t broken up with anyone yet
in every place in the city
somebody has already left someone
in every cafe
on every bridge
in every street
in every backyard
on every phone
on every answering machine
on every computer
in all these places someone already at some point
didn‘t want to make a fuss
whatever happened has happened has happened has happened
a scratched gramophone record
crossed-out name on the doorbell
replaced lock
new ID card
a smoked pack of cigarettes
bottle of vodka
injured wrist
overnight trips to nowhere
desperate phone calls
sleeping pills
a wrecked kitchen

social workers
city police
a mediator
a couples counselor
all of them saints
who aren‘t worth shit
because the judge is fragile
the lawyer is fragile
the doctor is fragile
the social worker is fragile
the city police are fragile
the mediator is a jerk
the couples counselor is fragile
and saints
are just as fragile
as you
and your loneliness
and the loneliness of this night
in which a young boy
invited a girl to the concert of a famous star
which cost him his annual pocket money
when he tried to kiss her on the subway
what are you doing
that wasn‘t part of the deal
the girl disappears in the dark
and the boy tries to get drunk
somewhere else
a young woman is expecting twins
with a man who moved out
as soon as he heard about them

the room smells of baby clothes
the room smells of tears
and of tomorrow
and somewhere else
a drunk made love
to an aging woman
for neither of them
the first time it happened
and yet the fragile morning
splashed into her face a current of suspended desire
will you call she asked and her voice broke
well i‘ll call if i can
and somewhere else
an adult man berates his mother
and then she cries
and then he smokes
so it is always
and somewhere else
in the middle of the bottomless night
a homeless person watches an advert
which alternates the faces of two women
and begins to caress them
standing there a long while
he has never had
two women at once
and somewhere else
an old woman listens
to the wheezing of her last but one night
full of phantoms
then the person in the next bed

sat up
and had a cat on each of her shoulders
one white
and the other black
and then she began to climb the wall
and the ceiling
kissing those pussycats
until i said go away, uchadi
i had to say it in russian
otherwise she wouldn‘t have stopped
only then did she go back to bed
and i could die

in the middle of this night
where in absolute silence
a young girl in a pink dress
dances on broken glass
in amazement she inspects
her bleeding wound
her dress flies in the air
and sweet pink footprints
dance behind her
through the fragile silence of the night
littered with a thousand brittle stars

loneliness pours out of windows and bedrooms
presses on silent couples
bides its time
a small piece of dynamite is enough
slamming the door with all your strength is enough
and fragile houses fall to the ground
like wounded captives

he has no dress sense
earns little
yells a lot
hates playing tennis

or it just doesn‘t feel right somehow
anything can be the reason
it‘ll be increasingly difficult to escape
each street is a cul-de-sac
there‘s no exit
without forgiveness
and infinite compassion
cling to one another
and touch each other‘s bodies
no-one ever wanted to hurt you
everything‘s just a misunderstanding
yelling is a misunderstanding
silence is a misunderstanding
beating, lies and infidelity are misunderstandings
incomprehension is a misunderstanding
impotence is a misunderstanding
shitty diapers are a misunderstanding
disease is a misunderstanding
remorse, madness, crying, withdrawal, fatigue, ridicule
you need not fear them
they‘re all misunderstandings
bad breath is a misunderstanding
socks on the table are a misunderstanding
lack of time is a misunderstanding
waiting for a text message is a misunderstanding
bulk emails are a misunderstanding
TV computer games politics religion and alcohol

are a misunderstanding
feminism is a misunderstanding
porn is a misunderstanding
a mother-in-law is also a misunderstanding
everything‘s just a misunderstanding
no-one ever wanted to hurt you
hold each other‘s hands
it‘ll be increasingly difficult to escape
the night is pregnant with solitude
the sky cracked
through the cracks a cosmic void blows in
it seeps into the facades of houses
and into hair and cigarettes
each handrail is fragile
because it has nothing to hold onto
the surface of the river cracked
the bridges cracked
the pavement cracked
the facades of houses cracked
the glass eyes of plush toys cracked
lips cracked
fragile skin
fragile eyes
fragile heart
hold each other‘s hands
don‘t leave one another
and forgive
because somewhere nearby
in complete silence
a woman in a red dress
dances on broken glass

feet cut bone-deep
trying to hide her pain
trying to sustain
the red thread of tenderness
lifting her pale face to the moon
she forgives the night
she forgives the points of thousands of stars

the sky cracked
weather full of loneliness and frightened smileys
invaded the city
everyone‘s chatting like mad
hoping at least to save the attic
where they used to play as children
discussion groups contact addresses
beach volleyball
going to the movies
consensual sex
they say
that half the men who go to brothels
don‘t have intercourse at all
sit for a while and have a chat
but to hold someone‘s hand
and look into their eyes
you won‘t save enough money for that in your lifetime
the loneliness of a morning coffee
the loneliness of a career
the loneliness of personal growth
the loneliness of a wide range of interests
the loneliness of traveling

the loneliness of rafting
the loneliness of masturbation
the loneliness on facebook
gleeful blossoming solitude
de luxe
the loneliness of dying
open windows cough into the night
a cleaning truck drove through the street
a man leaned out of the window after making love
and lit a cigarette
his back is caressed
by her gaze
and down by the river
the silhouette of a couple
kissing like they did
thirty years ago
he‘s a bit hunched up
she‘s still beautiful
in the benevolent soft light of the moon
she sent a wisp of her hair
towards the river
the city stopped breathing for a moment
old age is a misunderstanding
everything that you‘re not responsible for
is a misunderstanding
each of your weaknesses
is a misunderstanding
all your failures
are misunderstandings
misunderstanding is your fragility
listen to how quiet the night is

the tenderness of the city is so timid
just gentle touches of the skin
just a whisper
just a look in the eyes
just the warm breath
of another person
their palm
their silence
their delicate mouth
hold each other‘s hands
and listen to the voice of this night
the blinded eyes of plush toys
howl at the moon
and somewhere in complete silence
a barefoot old woman in a black dress
dances on broken glass
her bloodless soles
toughened by scars
stamp footprints in the stone
the old woman raises her hands above her head
and sings
oh what wonderful air
what a beautiful sky

the second day after the end of the world (druhý den po konci světa), paperjam 2013

illustrations jaroslav valečka

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