The snow begins to fall when you’re asleep.
Coming from the night,
from nowhere,
from black whispers,
from the nighttime horizon,
from the air of everyone,
from the fissures of everyone.
Moving in from the outskirts when you’re asleep,
moving between the trees,
over trails,
over brick gates,
over awnings and sidewalks,
over every one of the intersections,
over every one of the yards,
over every one of the tracks,
over every trackless stretch,
over schools,
over train stations,
over bridges
to eternity,
to ecstasy.
When there’s nothing.
When you’re sleeping.
Over every one of the windows,
over every homestead,
it falls over stores,
falls over neighborhoods,
buries channels,
enshrouds like flags,
flying into basements,
touching ceilings.
Over every one of the empty lots,
over every one of the new apartment blocks,
above every one of the verandas,
above every one of the shutters.
Going deep.
Moving from the outskirts.
The snow enters the city like
love gets under the skin.
Down to the blood.
To the sinews.
To the dark places,
from which breath begins.
Sweetly, like fatigue, like a drug.
Sharply, like certainty, like pain.
Swept down nerves like rivers.
At the bottom of lungs, like at the bottom of pits,
as a testament of all future
insomnias and inflammations,
a testament of all stops
and all roads,
a testament of all reincarnations,
a testament of all beginnings
and all returns,
fragile like March,
ripe like August,
love rises up through the body,
like warm mercury.
Breath from the throat
warming icy glass.
Above all the trees, above houses.
When you’re asleep,
when there’s nothing.
When what always was is gone.
…Hold onto that feeling of sweet and bitter
that feeling of hell,
when you touch her clothes and her hair,
when you give her your hand,
leading her out of the dark.
That’s her nestling into the high gloom of the summits.
That’s her goading golden blizzards like herds.
Enjoy this black love in your own body.
Despite everything.
In spite of everything.

© Serhiy Zhadan

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