Light burned
through the night ‘til morning.
The drafts gently touched the curtain.
Everyone in the building slept. Everyone in the city slept.
The darkness closed off the bridges.
Ripe apples in a black leaf
continued to grow.
The scent of rain
on the nighttime veranda.
Big trees so helpless
stood one on one with the air,
silent, listening,
stepping into the shadows,
touching the darkness with wet winding,
with each of its crisscrosses.
The whole building slept,
love lingering in its hallways,
like an ailment inside pores,
like a sound
that rips off the roof of your mouth,
like rays that hit the bottom
weathered by the wind,
glimmering and autumnal.
She lingered alone,
steps, beams, books, and furniture:
things – wearied and warm,
the names from which mornings began,
the space that shapes evenings,
habits, addictions, whims—
speak and remember.
The windows snatched the brisk air,
like a flag or freedom,
stubbornly, persistently,
snatching again and again
to everyone’s surprise,
nobody’s come here for a long time,
and nobody’s left.
Bright, parched, impersonal.
Everything comes down to love,
everything pertains,
to what’s most important,
everything emerges from trifles
from nonsense and from life,
statements and secrets.
Let the wayward buildings linger.
Start from any page,
time binds torn veins,
winding gray bandages.
You’ve had too much love here,
to ever leave.
Let everything be like it always was.
She waits, but doesn’t write,
like always in the fall.
The light goes cold
in the middle of the room,
and when it’s time for her to get up,
and she starts to dream her dreams.

© Serhiy Zhadan

Watch the multimedia version

Index | Next text