Blesok no. 48, May-June,2006

Compulsory Happiness
Translated from Belarusian by Jim McGarrah

Volja Gapeeva

compulsory happiness

compulsory happiness was handed out yesterday
on some unknown Strasse.
someone came up to me and said
you have such irregular eyes, please,
take a bit for yourself.
I brought it home and hid it
into the cupboard without reading
the instructions.
and then it turned out
one had to live with it.

for many long months

for              ths          ed            of
    ma       mon    my      sail    in     boats    your
       ny  long           breast         warm           palms

there where the wind knocks at the breast

There where the wind knocks at the breast
And makes you forget about warm touches of rye
Leaving the only way out on the arms –
Infinity is embraced at the shoulders
words are set free from the tone
Daphnis doesn’t look for Chloe anymore
Penelope got married long ago.
It does not really matter what you choose for breakfast.
You remember only the taste of bread
we ate after those pit-less olives
(though I preferred them with)
You swallow saliva – ears are blocked somehow
It is frightful only in the beginning
and then there is so little of it
with the lips
you scan greedily sentence by sentence
from lips
everything matters

threaded through the needle eye

Threaded through the needle eye
of your lips,
your tongue embroiders
a monogram on my belly.

when you are a tree

when you are a tree
         and the wind has left you,
it’s possible to stand still for ages

and will it matter where birds sing their songs

when you are
a tree
the wind has left?

so inconspicuous

so inconspicuous
  a red butterfly
on a red dragon

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