Andrey Gritsman

End of the Millennium

All we can do is
reinvent a wheel,
discover a new land,
see on early mornings
the trembling mirage of the city,
the Noah’s Arch of the pristine, silent
Verrazano Bridge floating above the waters,
pay the toll, leave the price for the Island
in the empty tollbooth at the gate,
inhabit a new space,
walk to a grocery store Sunday morning,
pick up a paper with blank pages and a stony donut,

go back to the point of no return,
to the charred carcasses of the past
go back to the only hope we had,
to the burning bush,
to the villagers in the river,
surrounded by the horsemen in helmets,
back to the Red Sea, to Lascaux,
cross the fields of wheat and the chaffs,
burned down by the airborne fire,
walk between the ravines
to an abandoned garden
to the bare bones of the buried dog,
to find the rotten apple, kneel and eat it
with worms and soil pocking it,
feeling the iron streaming into the vessels
mixing with the limestone layer,
to look around and learn some decency from the landscape.

Now is the time for a question:
who gives a flying fuck
about eschatology and redemption!
This is the time to go back
to the isolation ward
and to cough up the amber tenacious pus
of our persistence,
staring through the double window at the motionless
snow-covered branches in the cast-iron-fenced hospital yard,
go to the cold john
with an open board with several holes in it,
join the legless veteran,
have a smoke with him,
help him to the hole to take a shit.

That’s what we can do now,
take the journey back to fill the gap
with hundreds of bodies
of living beings of the mammalian family,
constituting a single step
in the descent from the Creator.

It’s time to come back
to the family kitchen,
sit down with father and mother
(as if it’s still possible)
and ask for some more tea.

Talking River, 3/19/07


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