Charles Simic

1938 / Belgrade

Labor and Capital

The softness of this motel bed
On which we made love
Demonstrates to me in an impressive manner
The superiority of capitalism.

At the mattress factory, I imagine,
The employees are happy today.
It's Sunday and they are working
Extra hours, like us, for no pay.

Still, the way you open your legs
And reach for me with your hand
Makes me think of the Revolution,
Red banners, crowd charging.

Someone stepping on a soapbox
As the flames engulf the palace,
And the old prince in full view
Steps to his death from a balcony.
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