A Pair of Opening Scissors by Dmitry Blizniuk (translated by Sergey Gerasimov)

Like a scorpion that hears through the night
the velvet steps of a caravan far, far away,
I hear you –
I hear you entering the future without me.
You disappear into the labyrinths between the walls of water of the parted sea,
into blue and green streets of rearing waves.
Skyscrapers of water hang over you;
giant crystal columns boil
full of restless fish and sleepy drowned ships.
You go away from me, into the perspective of Monet’s paintings.
You beckon me to come, silently,
but the paintings are covered with purple shawls of lies.
We use to love each other,
used to be an alloy of two happy faces, of lips and eyes.
Two relaxed sculptures in love. 

People say, there is nothing new in the world,
everything has already happened,
so life is handed to us on a plate, like to millionaires’ kids.
We are released into the present: sentient piranhas
released into a spiral, anti-glass aquarium
with a one-way current,
and when turning a bend,
we can brush against our past, against our own reflection,
make eye contact with our own silvery twin…
Look, fractured, gnawed skeletons of camels
show up white on the beautiful sand, on the bottom of time,
and all the clock dials are empty.
Does it mean that our caravan didn’t reach the destination? 

We are growing apart in time like a pair of opening scissors.
Slowly like hair, their blades are growing longer.
We’ve already lost each other.
We’ve chosen different streets in the Venice of time.
But I don’t regret. I’m as calm as a king
in the morning of his execution: imperturbably,
he wipes his neck with a handkerchief soaked in vinegar and water,
in his mistress’s tears (her pale hands are trembling like wax orchids
or tiny electric drills.)
I hear you throbbing in the spider web of time  –
I’m always with you, just as you are always with me.
And, at the same time – never, nowhere, with no one.
It’s the quantum physics of human relationships.



Dmitry Blizniuk is a poet from Ukraine. His most recent poems have appeared in Rattle, The Cincinnati Review, The Nation, Prairie Schooner, Plume, The London Magazine, Guernica, Denver Quarterly, Pleiades, and many others. A Pushcart Prize nominee, he is also the author of The Red Fоrest (Fowlpox Press, 2018). He was awarded the 2022 RHINO Poetry Translation Prize and he was a runner-up in the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition. He lives in Kharkov, Ukraine.