The Dog

József Attila

(transl. E. Fischer)

He was so filthy and wet
Fur of yellow flame
haggard with hunger
gaunt with desire
far far away,
off his sorry hips
blew the cool night breeze
he ran, he begged
crowded, sighing churches
in his eyes
he was searching for breadcrusts
and the like

I felt so sorry for him, as if
The poor dog had come running
Out of myself
And then, weary of the world
I saw it all

We lie down, because we must
Because night lays us to bed
And we sleep, because in the end
Misery puts us to sleep
But just before falling asleep,
As we lie silent, like the city
Under the cool dome of
Cleanliness and fatigue,
He appears, slinks
From his daylight lair
Inside us
That so very hungry
Filthy, wet dog
Rooting for
The leftover
Crumbs of gods