Translated from the Russian by Jennifer Lobaugh
we died one day and death passed by us we pressed against each other as to the soil and words turned out to be excess
Cities in which we were appointed for happiness ripen under the autumn sun we move from one word to another we equate our silence with the silence of the earth thus measuring the depth of our speech in the labyrinth of night we find each other by the beacon of daylight we follow revising our love songs we pore over celestial maps we fit ourselves into the space beneath our feet outlive me one of us says and I’ll become your ground
Eat my dear sweet cotton batting
eat my dear sweet cotton batting heal your inner wounds if need be I’ll buy you more
this spring again I will win over your youth this spring again I will tell you the most important thing and you will take me at my word
Al Panteliat is a Ukrainian Russian-language poet, translator, and organizer of literary events. He was born and raised in Kharkiv where he studied translation science in the People’s Ukrainian Academy. His poems and translations have appeared in a number of literary magazines such as Novaja Junost, Okno, Kreschatik, Soyuz Pisatelei, and Deti Ra. In 2017, he received the prestigious Schritte literary scholarship from the S. Fischer Foundation.
Jennifer Lobaugh is a poet and translator living in Connecticut. Her work has appeared in journals such as Rust + Moth and The Southampton Review. Her chapbook squall won the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc. 2014 Best Book of Poetry award and is available from dancing girl press.