Friday, 7 October 2011

halyna petrosanyak

A tiny town that once was the center of the universe, right now is clinging
to the very corner of the map, and its streets
full of holes like certain souls are out of favor in space time,
they bump into the mountains as through into absolute helplessness.
And they end up there, even the one called Freedom Street.
It’s just the river, as always, carrying off its green waters in the winter,
avoiding obstructions.

The grayness even oppresses the colors of fall. In the center
of the town a monument not for the person for whom it was once designated.
His facial expression confirms when one’s on the battlefield alone one’s
not a great warrior.

In the park the benches are painted blue and yellow.
In the mornings, especially on Sunday, the highlanders descend downtown
(most of them are Marijkas and Ivans, or Vasyls and Hannas).
They’re heading to the bazaar, less often — to church, to light a candle
for a departed soul.

The men, as a rule, go to the Smerichka Café.
You would never even come back here, if you knew no guilt
But something holds you firmly — evidently it’s a navel-string.
You suddenly make a powerful jerking movement — and behind you
your own innards will stretch, the way they do behind a wood nymph.

trans by michael m. naydan

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