Ghost Ship

the day is shorter
the sundial stands
hourless in the rain

the sanatorium emerges
from clouds
like a vast passenger liner

the columns of black trees
drip with water and moonlight

the sanatorium sails away
with the November mists

it rocks
its windows darken one after another
it plunges into shadow
into sleep

only below
the devil's lit the old stove
in "Little Hell"

don't be afraid
it's only a late-night spot
a cafe

the saved and the condemned
their cheeks flushed
lap up what's left of life

the fever rises
and everything whirls
in a dance of death
um die dunklen Stellen der Frau

the ghost ship
runs aground

From: Noyk Profesora [The Professor's Penknife], Wydawnictwo Dolnoílskie, 2001

For the next poem in this sequence, click here.