Transitions №3

Author: Tatiana Grauz

Translated by Ainsley Morse



in a woman’s face – a freshwater lake
                                              sunset time
she looks around glances  
                              at the train schedule
and the circles ringing further and further
                                   across the lake water



my father
left my mother’s house once
I left my father’s house

my mother sleeps beneath rosehips
my father’s mother fell asleep in the forest


          and only in a hushed voice
                                          fell asleep



in a photograph lit by the light of April
the 4th in — oh God knows what year
I haven’t cared about numbers for ages now
even the electricity meter
                  gets checked by my neighbor Evgenia Valerianovna
a few years ago she got a shunt put in
                                          her deep-warm-heart
sometimes the scar slips out from under her nice blue blouse
        she smiles with the light of an otherworldly field

“I won’t be a burden to you, Tanya”

while behind her back – a photograph of my mother with a book in the garden

and now this rain looks like lasting
quiet souls beating down in drops



this winter chilled my heart, mama,
and burned my eyes
              with its white like death white snow
so as not to cry – I sought summer: that-summer-of-ours
                             and kept finding your name
          in the book of obituaries



(death too makes order)

birds’ migrations
and dahlias in clumps of dry earth
and the scent of incense mixed with sagebrush
and 5–6 or 20 people by a dark pit
where only ants scurry about

and women
(somewhere off in the distance)
are preparing food for the wake

but tomorrow – tomorrow – like autumn mist
unexpected gratitude begins twinkling
delineating a circle (a hidden contour) in which we are alive



in a magnifying glass – it’s Palm Sunday
              children are setting last year’s grass on fire
              standing over it like frozen clouds
and the name of the movie theater congealed in scarlet Cyrillic
                           р о д и н а  – the motherland
      over the fresh lawn where once were graves
      over the necrotic grass in the cardiogram of paths
in the gray air an agitated soul blooms  



the stones of winter slowly sprouting
and we
are growing slowly together with them