No. 7


Regina Derieva  

Translated from the Russian by Alan Shaw  


Cape Cod

The ocean’s the square and the cube of the sea,
the distance that turns into living glance.
We don’t love our freedom enough, so she
runs off towards a garden, if by chance

There’s one to be found, or else towards snow,
or towards sleep, or towards summer. Whoever has caught
you, ocean, has done it full tilt, at a go,
has tripped at your edge, your shore, on a spot

Not there either before or later.
By your dark turntable I’ve stood, in whose whelk
your needling hiss made sweeter and sweeter
its aria for mezzo-soprano and silk.

So how can I avoid you, adored,
dearest, blind ocean, who flutters the sheet
on which time’s passing by is scored,
As it yields to all that’s salt and wet.

Worcester, MA

A bird is crying out at dawn,
and at dusk grows still again:
“Little enough under the sun 
have I and all my siblings seen.

 “Golden sky at break of day,
growing azure towards the dark.
The voice is lost, which is to say,
time is emptiness’s mark.”

The voice fades out, just as if all
hint of bird were gone there too,
besides the readiness of a soul
to lose itself in heaven’s blue.




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