Critique of Pure Reason
They taught us about the climate of Ethiopia,
the sheep population of New Zealand.
They taught us the area of the USSR
and the countries we have borders with.
When my next-door neighbor showed up
wearing combat boots instead of slippers
it occurred to me: the area of the USSR is subject to change
as is the number of sheep on New Zealand.
When my neighbor came to my door
to talk me into signing a piece of paper saying
that my home wasn’t mine any more
I knew: the Great Age of Discovery is back. And I set sail,
with the inspiration of a Columbus, without compass
and no starry sky above me,
to seek a new route to the Indies.
Dig another Suez Canal.
Compose another Nabucco.
Re-paint all the world’s Still Lifes.
© 1996 Adin Ljuca
Translation by Wayles Browne and Sasha Skenderija – © 2008 by Wayles Browne and Sasha Skenderija
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