András Petőcz, from In a Ray of Sunlight

Full pamphlet, In a Ray of Sunlight, at EPC Digital Library (pdf)
translated from Hungarian by Nathaniel Barratt
(Budapest: Corvina Books, 2008

new york, madison avenue

if you were to say new york, i’d say
madison ave, it’s nighttime, i’m heading
downtown towards 31st, i’m looking for
a sandwich, or something, and have no idea
how i could possibly find a way home,
from the garbage bags i’m stumbling around
between right now, i’m with some arab character
named mahmoud, my name’s mahmoud,
he says, mahmoud shuqair, he says,
i’m a palestinian from jerusalem
he says and smiles, the rain pelts down
around us, i’m tired, we duck into some fast
food joint, he just smiles, i really like
this arab guy, i think to myself, i’d never
want to hurt him, and then igal sarna shows
up, i haven’t seen him in years, i’m igal
sarna, he’d said once, years ago, i’m igal
sarna, he says, from tel aviv, and now he hugs
this palestinian, to my surprise, i just
stare at this foreign scene, too
struck by it, you know him, i ask him, you
guys know eachother, i ask, kind of
surprised, there in the streets
of new york, in the night, then
suddenly alone i stay, on the corner of
31st and madison, i don’t care so
the rain just floods down my face –

 read the rest here 

András Petőcz lives in Budapest. These poems come from his stay at the Iowa International Writing Program in 1998.