Greek Blood

by Radu Andriescu

Badge believed he had Greek blood in his veins and in consequence
the whole of the world was a fishing boat and the whole of the sky
a bottle of rum
the night was balmy and Hellenic, you could pass through it
in just a shirt
Badge walked the streets of Iaşi in shirt sleeves while the frost
bit fiercely
one night while music was dissipating hazily between
the two undivided rooms of his garret digs
while I was befriending a vicious runty dog
his fur half mangy
more than ugly
Badge broke the landlady’s sink with an empty bottle of Russian
vodka
the bottle had to get broken, the bottle as with the Greeks
his Greek blood drained from his body to the rotten wood of the
staircase
the cur G.G. sniffed and licked it
outside the cold was doing its utmost and not until much later
did he come to learn
it had only been through marriage, do you catch the drift? only
through marriage
anyway his short Greek life
had been wonderful

Translated from the Romanian by Adam J. Sorkin with the author

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