TINY THEATRES


(MAŁE KINA)


To:
Stanisław Maria Saliński,
Author of the “Tales of the sea”








O, those tiny theatres
For distraction and distress,
You can hide in seats wrapped
In scarlet plush, like heart red.

There is still day outside,
But the lamp above swings,
Brightens the poster riddle
And shadows that drift within.

And in the shiny circle
Little boys scream like mad
They sell candies, shoe-laces,
They sell cigarettes.

The evening comes slowly
And moon draws out his hands.
O, those tiny theatres
For distracion and distress.

Cashier with hair unfold,
Queen of her kiosk of gold
Gives you a ticket and you walk
Into the night, where movie sings:

The groves shining mystically
Palm trees rustling magically
And over the sidewalk endlessly
Silver smoke floats to the screen.

How nice is to cuddle in,
Hide from the rainy weather
Cling to the red plush seat
And stay, and stay forever.

Silvery stream slowly flows
Through your drained heart.
Red seat hugs you with a doze
Like a love letter in a wrap:

“My precious beauty, my star!
Another night lonely and bare.
Where’s that bridge, where I’ll
Meet you again?
      Your
            Teddy bear.”

You leave in a foggy rim,
Dreams left on the silver screen,
You wander through the streets
And keep thinking on the way

O, those tiny theatres’ riddle,
The world is left in the middle,
The place for all the miserables
That had a bad day.

1947

[© for English translation, M. Gałczyński]