Poetica Magazine

Poetica Magazine


by Uri Rosenshine

Later that night

the moon was large and blue over the buckwheat

The cat sat beside a samovar

behind the barn window

and the field mouse stood

at the grasses’ edge

Listen, then, the train passed

behind the poplars

and the angel, the same one

I told you about before, flew

right over Vitebsk

Our bodies were tall as the barn,

we understood, we were seated, incredulous

We saw nighttime, a history of nighttime:

new odors, frankness in speech

and the distant intelligence

of shoulders

Eternity, that strange bird—

I asked her, asked her if she knew

what I meant by it,

the sky behind her face, behind the moon

spread like a great flag

I knew, then, what country

we were in, whose land

It was obvious—the dream of a city

no taller than a stalk of buckwheat—

how we would have towered over them!

The smallest materials,

beetles, ferns and funguses, several

months’ worth of the moon

lying spent on the ridge

of milk jugs emptied

in the square—

We can account for these,

numbering them, one on the other

with our hands and mouths,

in our given fashion,

untutored in the sum of things

I spelled it out on her,

along the grain, you know—

She knew what I had meant to say,

exactly what I meant to say.