The azure ovals of your fingernails
Are my tiny coves of recollection,
The stab of your eyes is gentle,
Like the touch of a Crimean pine branch.
We descended down crooked alleyways
Between tall walls behind which
Miniature magic palaces hide,
And the funicular clock
Was working it weight device over our heads,
Moving the weights up and down,
Counting off precious days of joy and worry.
The sun would set wherever it felt like.
We would crash wherever we felt like too.
Because the place of your desire was I
And the universe of my gravity were you.
Jointly we lay on the beach,
Ashamed neither of our youth nor maturity,
All hot and bothered,
Salty to the tongue, like coastal pebbles,
Our shoulders touching
Like the uprush and backwash of two waves
Unconcerned with the clouds
That fail to reflect them,
Pushing the bated-breath summer toward
Fall. Your eyes’ stern northern lakes,
Their lambent expressions…
We were two different continents
Yet united here for the first time,
And the South greeted us jointly,
Each dangling half the world behind us.
We descended to chilly depths,
Maneuvering between stones and fish.
We’d finally emerge onto the warm layer,
Toward people, relishing the blessed right
To be like everyone else.
Then we would take off uphill,
Slowing our pace on the tree-shaded path,
And find an eatery where I would at one lunch
Devour more than I now do
In three whole days…
My notions of love, divorced from life’s reality…
Your apprehensions, the snail effect…
The train home, the carpet of leaves, rolled up.
The wires are ringing, but there’s no one to ring.
Fall transitions to winter, winter translates to nowhere,
Snow is pouring, covering in deafness
Remnant scraps of voices of summer.
We shall never again be there, ever, together.
Happiness has been murdered, smashed
Like a blind kitten against the ring-fence
Of the magic palace. The weight device
Of the funicular cableway has since collapsed
Into the hollows of my heart. Your age and mine
Are no longer in the same millennium.
And should the sun return from behind the sea,
Should somehow time one more time in my life
Reverse its course…
Sergey Kutanin, 2016
Translated from the Russian by Philip Nikolayev