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  CARDINAL POINTS: THE CURRENT ISSUE
Larissa Miller
WE ARE ONLY BORDERED BY AIR
Translated from Russian by Richard McKane
Print versionSTOSVET PUBLISHING HOUSE
about the author 

Larissa Miller
Thank you, State


Thank you, State,
thank you, many thanks
for not destroying everyone,
for not hacking to death everyone's flesh,
for not corrupting everyone's soul,
for not defiling all the dry land,
for not polluting all the waters,
and that not all your children are monsters.

                                                         1990



It's impossible to live on the earth


It's impossible to live on the earth.
Not for nothing does Chagal
have very few people walking:
they all live, flying, gliding
over the earth's surface.
The figures of Botticelli too
don't yearn for the earthly aim
but for something else.
They are all elongated
as though they are being tugged
to somewhere in the heavens
which are inflamed at dawn and at sunset.
There is no life on earth, you see.
Everyone got convinced of this:
one when he was born,
another in declining years.

                                                         1998



It's somehow simple


It's somehow simple, two times two,
cabbage soup and porridge, grandma and grandpa,
but it turns out that the world
was almost destroyed at lunch.

It seems just the sea, the breeze,
juice in a glass with ice, -
but it turns out as the darkness, fate
and a bloody duel.

You stretch out your hand
to the white, white jasmine branch, -
but the most transparent days
suddenly explode like a mine.

What's in your heart, on your mind?
What is pulsing under your skin?
What has matured in the dark?
Have mercy on us, Lord God.

                                                         2001



Just be with me


Just be with me my dear ones,
just be with me,
let these wintry winter days
become a wall of white snow.

Come home and rattle your keys
or ring the doorbell
and talk to me about anything,
about everything.

For instance, just about today's snowfall
and that the sun is not warm
and that time goes fast in winter
and it's already evening.

                                                         2005



There was everything


There was everything: blood and firing squad lists,
prison gruel in bent tin bowls
and torture and smoke of the death ovens,
but now again you are overcome with tender words,
child of the earth, unreasonable offspring.
And again you delight in the spring sun,
and again you warm yourself in its spring rays,
and wander in the forest among the autumn candles.

                                                         2006



We are only bordered by air


We are only bordered by air
by sunny and birdfilled space,
where the wind and leaves fly
and make our path golden.
We border on the air
where the leaves and birds are,
And the border is unprotected.

                                                         2008


                                                  Translated from Russian by Richard McKane


© Copyright Larissa Miller
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