Andrey Gritsman


What’s left of me?
The same accent, scar on the palm,
stacks of books in my room,
that cloudy hemisphere,
where music stumbles over the chorus of voices.

I think I am in peace now.
At least with future memories.
As for the past, I only feel the touch
of light sadness,
like those veils of fog
left in the park along the road.

Only light sadness, as I drive,
passing the crisp suburban fall landscapes
of the Northern South,
the frozen green grass seen only around here,

soft burns of pumpkins,
fragmented clouds of the Halloween web,
trembling in the wind;
iced firewood stacked at the door of the small store,
police car (lights dormant),
secluded in the lot;

braid of the little girls,
like a thread of black pearls,
spilling from an old brick school building,
ready for the snow;
a man with a bottle of “Wild Irish Rose” in his hand,
out of Bruegel scene.

You see, that was a different layer of life.
It’s over now. Two memories away.
We both breathe the same cold air
on the opposite sides of the transparent wall,
like a sliding door in a suburban apartment.

And you are still coming,
looking from the other side,
your lips moving.
I think I know what you are saying to me.
But with you, I am never sure.

Poet Lore, 1/28/05


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