POEMS


***
By Kaciaryna Andrejeva
Translation: Arch Tait

 

I drank your toxic mother’s milk,
Accompanied by earth admixed with ash.
‘Thank you,’ I said and, though not really of your ilk,
Came back at my own risk, however rash.

To risk the hallway with its winking light,
The knock at midnight and the piles of forms,
Soft paws on parquet of a stalking cat,
The power of darkness entering a room.

And in the darkness, tingling stars in ranks of five,
Whirl amid high snows and slip and slide,
And can be neither stopped nor caught alive,
And so today remain a valid guide.

Perhaps it was not bad I fully saw
My time and place in profile and full-face,
and had not long its darkness to explore,
Black night with green and gleaming eyes to trace.

But let us part, my love, this time for good
As clouds of billowing dust behind me spread!
My path leads me away from you and should,
While I have life and see free space ahead.