By: Dmitry Blizniuk
I’ve walked into your trap.
I went to a spring late at night
and froze like a armless statue in the middle of an autumn garden.
What should I do? Should I grab with my teeth the knotty pencils of the twigs?
Throw myself in front of limousine-long words?
Draw on the dirt? Scratch the asphalt?..
But a young maple embraced a female street light,
a glass flower on a metal pole,
and dressed the iron in yellow leaves:
“You are alive; now you are one of us!”
Three girls with their hair down
gracefully click-clacked out onto the path,
and the smells of expensive shampoos, fluffy like minks,
sashayed behind them…
I could hear each sound, felt the details:
A cyclist flew past. The slender swish of the spokes.
Two boys buried themselves in their gadgets – fat moths
in the rings of lilac light,
the soft snouts hit against the flickering screens,
and oh miracle! – down the asphalt stream,
a couple waltzed
under the platinum shine of a streetlight.
She, an angel in a white jacket, with a backpack, taught him.
Hundreds of thoughts, details, images swarmed,
Buzzed, demanded, nibbled –
But how many of the impressions would survive?
Or would they melt like bits of butter
on the heated pan of existence…
I found myself in the center of the slow hurricane
of red and yellow butterflies of October,
of ephemeron moments…
Oh God, how can I express this?
Phosphorescent salty water of meaning
passes through the sieve of mind,
and thoughts and thoughts and thoughts swirl in the brain like music by Liszt.
Look how fast a maple leaf falls.
It looks like a pianist with his leg in cast.
I darted out of the night shadows, changed
by the ineffable – as if the slightest radiation
had changed the lyrical code of my soul.
On the verge of tears, I ran home,
the stumps of my arms moving,
and carried in my teeth
the ghostly green ray…
(translated by Sergey Gerasimov from Russian)
Dmitry Blizniuk is a poet from Ukraine. His most recent poems have appeared in Rattle, The London Magazine, Pleiades, Another Chicago Magazine, Eurolitkrant, Poet Lore, NDQ, The Pinch, New Mexico Review, The Ilanot Review, National Translation Month, EastWest Literary Forum, and many others.. A Pushcart Prize nominee, he is also the author of The Red Fоrest (Fowlpox Press, 2018). His poems have been awarded RHINO 2022 Translation Prize. He lives in Kharkov, Ukraine.