I say, “So what if nothing is understood?
So what if we have to start everything all over again?
Every soul inhabits a body,
and every door leads to a room.

Every space is full of its own radio shows.
Every heart grows flowers and algae.
So what if all this could have been predicted?
So what if you have no idea how to talk about this?

I passed through these twenty-four-hour twilights,
I know how to fight off attacks and trauma.
But I still have so much love left
that it could stop the plague at the gates of the city.

I know how the fire dies down in a woman’s voice.
I carried that poison in my own pockets.
But I still have so much tenderness and anger
that it could raise lepers and hanged men from their graves.

So they will follow me through the golden nights —
tired clowns, defenseless sleepwalkers.
So what if you have no idea where to begin?
So what if nothing comes of things between us?”

She listens to me, slightly swaying.
She walks out and then returns.
She is silent, agreeing with me about everything.
She smiles, not believing a single word I say.

© Serhiy Zhadan

Watch the multimedia version

Index | Next text