Twenty-first Century Russian Poetry


Arkadii Dragomoshchenko


Translated by Eugene Ostashevsky


I counted gods, like months, on knucklebones,	
moon tendons, joint insides, I counted stones with my feet,
feeling them under my shoe, also with the coal of the sole. 
A strange problem arises,
				to number your presence using fingers,
when clothes are over you or not
				or else when something slips out from under my fingers,
like the cloud they slay by squinting,
when nothing arrives in recompense. What is left then?

A photograph corroded by presence, wind of swifts,
dust specks in the eyes? Merely the motion of counting minor gods,
				fallen like seeds toward disparate fingers.