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Estuary

Knee deep in mud. For centuries, we have stood where the bogwaters suck.
In the grasp of the inanimate,

there are no straight lines. A sack race is good for a laugh.
And like the Lord’s own trumpets, funnels multiply in the muck.

Once again, darling, yours is a resinous, intimate whisper.
Once again, I’ll bring you pelts and sprigs of heather.

But it’s all a whim of the estuary, spidering thin borders.
By dawn, it looks like a golden wand. At night, a wooden recorder.

The dragonflies and branches emanate a velvet current
into skies and loam. This isn’t a road. It’s a crossroad.

In the dead water, a bulging stretcher,
you will find no bridge, no cross, no forking path, no star.

Only a stone that looks like a cloud (both resemble
countless other points of the universe so familiar as to make one tremble).

Only the dislocation of a landscape, sagging like a deflated ball.
Only a hole in the ground, or the lack of a hole.

Translated from Russian by: 
Wayne Chambliss
Original source: 
Лиман
 

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