You Look Sad
You look sad —
a small flatfish leaned against the glass.
A pale-pink sconce with a broken light bulb
glimmers through the silence.
You sit on the couch
with arms around your knees.
The white ice-cream of childhood has melted and dripped away.
You look sad, but it’s beyond my power to help you.
Or maybe you are a trap,
a skillfully made mask a carnivorous angel wears?
Your friend’s advice enters the silky pulp of your heart like pins,
like they belong there.
A pincushion heart.
You look sadly out the window at the slanting rain.
Like panties look desolately out the porthole of a stalled washing machine.
You look at the world of giants of steel and glass,
the world of ruffled up flat surfaces, of great concrete bulks.
No one needs you. Welcome to the club of useless people.
If God saw you now,
he’d present you with a simple hair hoop,
a toy aluminum nimbus,
and immediately canonize you for commonhood.
Ordinaryhood. No more than that.
Some divine grace. Are you waiting for love?
Love is everything people have
to take root, to stretch their sunny hands
into the peachy valleys of another reality.
Do you see in each and every man a reflection of yourself, but without a disguise?
A reflection of a stranger,
a face reflected in water.
Stars are like buoys, and you’ll never swim beyond them.
Is this why you are sad? Probably not.
A mosquito of the depths has bitten you,
and you scratched the bitten area red.
Your sadness is like a sugar candy moon crone cooked with sugar and salt.
You are sad; you are a lonely tourist on a strange planet
robbed of time and love, which are the local currency.
And you are poor, out of time, out of wealth.
You are sad, and it’s wonderful.
A painting dances, melts, plays colors.
Someone cruel has propped it against a tree
and left it under the sudden downpour
to die, to disappear from its shabby frame,
in front of umbrellaed people.
(Sergey Gerasimov, translation)
Dmitry Blizniuk is a Ukranian writer. His poems have appeared most recently in The Pinch, Press53, Dream Catcher, Magma, Sheila Na Gig, Adelaide, The Nassau Review, Havik, Saint Katherine Review, Star 82, Pif Magazine, Naugatuck River, Lighthouse, The Gutter, and many others. A Pushcart Prize nominee, he is also the author of The Red Fоrest (Fowlpox Press, 2018). He lives in Kharkov.