Transitions №3

Author: Evgeny V. Kharitonov

Translated by Ainsley Morse


* * *

covered in the bruises of accumulated illnesses
in the welts of spent love
I lie on the couch
my crumbling teeth
chewing letters over and over
I listen as the gray hairs
of time come crawling out of me



To grow suddenly into the earth,
My careful heel
Grazing the fragment of a cross
From a forgotten grave


* * *

suspiciously easy
is the breathing of alien birds
convincing and compelling
is the grip of Russian chains

breathe! stay silent! love!


* * *

the ceiling black
and scatter it with stars

don’t wash
don’t scrub
don’t whitewash
stars can’t stand that

Love you
beneath the starry sky
of a concrete apartment bloc



the curve of a smooth female leg
is a pivot toward Eternity
where there are black holes

not all the cosmonauts
made it home



To my grandpa, who I never saw

on the table
a jewel-box
with the medals
of my fallen grand-
pa, in nineteen forty-five.
the medals shoot sunbeams, that
go leaping along the walls, across the faded photo-
graphs in blackened frames, and jump out the open windows,
and then, hitting the sky, fall in warm flakes onto the pedestrians –



* * *

Grow up
Hanging onto the sky with a pinky
Blind eyes into the soft flesh of the sun


* * *

Last night another wave of
that poetic English spleen
again the wish –
to leave it all and drop dead
again they bore down –
the eternal Russian questions:
what’s the meaning of life? wherefore? why me?
is it worth it? how to keep going? what if?
But in the morning the sun
broke the window and reached in
its thread-arms
and hey now we’re gonna tickle you
And I realized: how stupid I was yesterday!
I will live  –
and tomorrow
and afterward

plus I got scared
that one day
I won’t see the sun
breaking the window-
glass into bits
injecting into my body
the narcotic of life

I love the Sun