Dmytro Lazutki

Poet, born in November 1978 in Kyiv. 

 

   

you think people die like that?

do you really think they die like that?

at first we played with words (to understand)
then with cities (to get closer)
but before we got completely entangled
the uncorked veins of spring rivers
changed colors three times

yet again straining the sun
through crumpled thin paper
you’re gulping air
that never did belong to you
like a cash machine
that mutely calculates percentages
for good luck for good luck

one quote after another
grows – into us
with its fingerprints
sticks – to us

you think – people die like that?

hit me
squeeze me out exhale me

get out into the rain you bitch get out into the rain




water mains lead us astray

and border guards don’t trust us
people have a tendency
to exaggerate the forbidden

and she goes on and on
about her cats
about her kids
about our love
it’s enough to drive you crazy
although there’s really nothing to fear

we have everything we need
to be happy
a liter of cognac
an old TV that automatically raises the volume
three condoms –
do you believe in the magic of numbers?

we dream together
of snow on the crooks of spring
of a trip to China for the Olympics
of corals in the palms of our hands
of everything that was forbidden
all our lives

and the music sounds
that is
the orchestras play
that is
sounds perform their roles
and you know
I want to wake up next to you
to walk to the nearest subway
in time for them to suddenly shut it down
so that we wouldn’t know what to do

so that even you wouldn’t know what to do



border elegy

wet clay
so soft you could fashion a fish heart out of it

        a bridge over which cars
carry universal longing that truly does exist
according to customs officers
and that must be paid for

    how much lovemaking fits
    into the brief pause between the dial tones
    on a payphone
    long sought and finally found
near the late-night mini-mart
on the shores of gas-pump islands
over which birds grow raucous
and heavens fill up with pink cream

you crossed the border to free yourself

you talked away all the money
and I’m sure you did it on purpose
and you’re all out of words

tall pine trees
extinguish drafts
the wind abates and mopes

the story wouldn't start
do you hear the story wouldn't start

truck drivers buy cigarettes
and exchange whispers
as if there were no more sacred treasure than their itinerant solitude
       
in the local hotel
only cold water
    but there’s enough for everyone

© Dmytro Lazutkin translated by Mark Andryczyk and Andrij Kudla Wynnyckyj