Al Panteliat
Reciprocity

we died one day
and death passed by us

we pressed against each other
as to the soil

and words turned out to be
excess

Omen

Cities in which we
were appointed for happiness
ripen
under the autumn sun

we move from one word
to another
we equate our silence
with the silence of the earth
thus measuring
the depth of our speech

in the labyrinth of night
we find each other
by the beacon of daylight
we follow
revising
our love songs

we pore over
celestial maps
we fit ourselves into the space
beneath our feet

outlive me
one of us says
and I’ll become your ground

Eat my dear sweet cotton batting

eat my dear
sweet cotton batting
heal your inner wounds
if need be
I’ll buy you more

This Spring

this spring
again I will win over
your youth

this spring
again I will tell you
the most important thing

and you will take me
at my word

Translated from the Russian by Jennifer Lobaugh.

Al Panteliat is a Ukrainian Russian-language poet, translator, and organizer of literary events. He was born and raised in Kharkiv where he studied translation science in the People’s Ukrainian Academy. His poems and translations have appeared in a number of literary magazines such as Novaja Junost, Okno, Kreschatik, Soyuz Pisatelei, and Deti Ra. In 2017, he received the prestigious Schritte literary scholarship from the S. Fischer Foundation.

Jennifer Lobaugh is a poet and translator living in Connecticut. Her work has appeared in journals such as Rust + Moth and The Southampton Review. Her chapbook squall won the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc. 2014 Best Book of Poetry award and is available from dancing girl press.