A Still Life



Saturday morning. Schubert. Frosya torments the slipper.
White hydrangea. (Remember, as in Sapunov?)
I lie on the floor between dolls, small hats, t-shirts.
I stare at you, and close my eyes.


Music for performance over water? Over waters?
The German rhythm stops
       like a member of the National-Socialist party in a frightened mouth.
You sit by the computer, covered with light ice
covered with your porcelain beauty.


And waters of Schubert like thousands of tiny mice boil in your mouth.
I’ve been looking at you for three years, like a maniac at the
corpse’s cameo
waiting—the policemen will arrive—they’ll begin to yell
beat me with a shoe, and I will lay quietly on the floor.
Know nothing. Hear nothing. Nothing.
The white hydrangea, a fistful of fireworks
in the sky, as if
       some celestial mole labors in the sky.
—Mishenka, it is too bright?
            —It is not too bright.
Bubbles of Schubert. Tears bubbling in my mouth.




  Polina Barskova, translated by Ilya Kaminsky