Twenty-first Century Russian Poetry


Nariste Alieva


Translated by Philip Metres

the world's summit

a file of thoughts drains 
               slides on the line 

coups and revolutions 
               of invisible paths in my soul 

the world's summit 
            my tsunami 

and the fate of clots 
              avalanches of secrets 

and peals of thunder   
             and flames of the heat

the mad roar 
              and chill of wounds ... 

* * *

I draw on the land
            with my breath 

above the earthly city
            scattered stars

                     the meaning of Being 

one only imperceptibly 
              streams down 
                         a tear 

the earth changes its paints 
               dismantling leaves 

and only I can hear again 
               the singular silence

* * *

I am the red spot
on a black surface of road
torn thread
of a last link
I'm the sad face
of a mute freak
brightest page
in the chronicle of a people