translated from the Russian by Sergey Gerasimov
The autumn was like a column of brown fire.
We roamed the wine-colored afternoons—
the gauze of trolleybus wires, fruit flies of birds—
working up blind happiness, for later,
squirreling away velvet lyrical fat.
Unsteady phantoms of future snowmen
were so funny growing out of the clouds,
snowy bubbles ready to burst.
The smell of the cold weather and smoked leaves teased us.
October had dropped mittens of fox fur
into freshly scraped fish scales.
The dull, tailless days were caught in the glue traps
of thin liquid-crystal puddles.
The puddles reflected scraps of faces, overcoats, phrases.
October was cutting living photos with a pair of charred scissors,
making silhouettes, shortening parasols.
And the black with maple spots monkeys of the lawn
wanted to be picked up.
Poplars stood still like giants
but birch trunks—piano keys with awful incisions on them—
someone was cutting ropes
Life routine hadn’t touched us yet, letting us fool about.
A velvety family of tiger cubs swirled in the park like a stain-glass miracle,
Bright red, leafy, lazy, and rough.
They bit our boots, chased the crows.
I believed we would get through the meshes
in the ripped net of destiny.
Yellow, webbed trees
looked like baby dragons
suffering from hepatitis.
You took my last name;
You did it so competently
like only women can do.
You took it like the crown from a sleepy king’s head.
Dmitry Blizniuk is an author from Kharkov, Ukraine. His most recent poems have appeared in The Pinch Journal, River Poets , Dream Catcher, Magma, Press53, Sheila Na Gig, Palm Beach Poetry Festival and many others. A Pushcart Prize nominee, he is also the author of The Red Fоrest (Fowlpox Press, Canada 2018).