Summer 1995 • Vol. XVII No. 3/4 European Voices |

Love Songs for the SS

I go to Polish coffee shops alone, to be alone. Christine. Elka. Lillian. Jolanta. Only the ones with women's names will do. Screw Bruno and Leshko. Like my father and his father before me, I need a strong woman to protect me. To sit at her table and pout like a little boy. At my father's mother's table I learned how to spell Kanyetski or Kanicki or Kanecki; that it means horses or peacock or necessity; that nothing in the world is black or white; and that I was Polish first and American second, that my real country is Polonia, an invisible country that went all over the world during the diaspora of the partitions and the emigrations and the deportations. I am the Polish border. It goes wherever I go and we were in this country now, hoping the United States would bomb Russia and we could all go home. My father and his brother had been in the American army during the war in the hope the United States would bomb Germany and we could all go home. Until World War II we were like mos

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Mathematics

By Liliana Ursu, translated by Bruce Weigl

I go to Polish coffee shops alone, to be alone. Christine. Elka. Lillian. Jolanta. Only the ones with women's names will do. Screw Bruno and Leshko. Like my father and […]

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