[39] A Footprint in the Ashes of Time, Dmitry Blizniuk

There’s a wild beast lurking behind my tenderness.
My love, do you hear the future—the roaring forest fire?
The invader burns ships in the port
before we find time to depart.
Heated clouds, two-headed squirrels of déjà vu race towards us.
We have nowhere to hurry. Look how beautifully
the moon foam of our hopes and dreams goes down
onto the oily waters of the harbor.
Titanic is still so young—an armored dachshund
with four nipples on the back—it sniffs at the waves with royal disdain,
not at all expecting the big, white misfortune awaiting it.

Do things have an intuition?
Does left out soup know whether it will go bad tomorrow or I’ll eat it?
If it wasn’t for our inborn optimism—
we drop coins into the sea, plant pear trees that are going to grow for centuries—
understanding of reality would burn us
like a match may burn poplar fluff…
You can’t look straight at the world
like you can’t look straight at the sun,
if your eyes are not clouded with dreams.
This is the buffer of ignorance.
Somewhere in California,
an oil pump that looks like a praying hammer
bites into the underground vein—
the future bites into the past.
And you know, someone harvests and preserves us
like timber or the juice of crude oil.
Just listen, and you can hear our children laugh or cry in the future,
eat the pears we have planted.
Now it’s their shoulders the sick giant of the world
leans on.

Oh, my dear, I promise I will love you
until all the sparkling memories have fizzled out, and even later.
One day I’ll rake the ashes away with my claws—
being not a human but a beast made of a thousand eyes,
and find these dear bones, these earrings.
My visitor from the future, can you hear me
above the incessant turbine buzz of the words,
through the red coppices of circulatory systems?
Find me in the future, find someone who survives—
an envoy, a king of wrinkles,
an ageing dove with a whole herbarium in the cracked beak.
It took me so long to fly over the vast expanse of water,
over forests and skyscrapers
buried under the tender tsunamis of sunlight,
but I could neither find you nor the Ark,
and only the Word is left, only a symbol,
a footprint in the petrified ash of time…

(translated by Sergey Gerasimov from Russian)

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