We ate our youth from the knife.
Night fishing trips, moonlit dates,
and you, a jug-eared hero,
burnt yourself with naked girls’ flesh,
like with hot fish soup.
Moon fry raged in the flowing hair;
the haystack crunched and shimmered;
the froggy pearls of cabbages showed blue.
Our hearts were two cherries – sticky, violet,
with a soft rot of growing up,
their sides grown together.
God, give me back the inspiration of youth,
the blue world resting on straw elephants,
that town all in turbulent orchards,
the glassed-in yacht of the kitchen
that smelled of apple vinegar,
mosquito bites, the river, river, river again…
The sunny guillotine of summer
licked itself with golden blades,
figurines made of brown sugary clay —
over the blue abyss, —
learned to write simple words
with your soul and body,
like first graders write with a pen:
love, friend, sorry, forever, never again,
While you are young,
the microphone of silence is on.
Entrance is free.
Come and say any nonsense you want,
but you aren’t listening to me…
Youth, I feel your stare:
the orange and red dot
of a laser sight.
DMITRY BLIZNIUK is a poet from Ukraine. His most recent poems have appeared in Rattle, The Nation, Prairie Schooner, The London Magazine, Guernica, Denver Quarterly, Pleiades, and elsewhere. A Pushcart Prize nominee, he is also the author of The Red Fоrest (Fowlpox Press, 2018). His poems have been awarded the RHINO 2022 Translation Prize. He lives in Kharkov, Ukraine.