I look at you – and I don’t recognize you:
you, tell me, is this you, my dear son?
You, little one, before whom I am bound
to feel the guiltless guilt – the one I know
to hide even from myself? The words
I meant to tell you all escape me now.
And in delirium I vow: this will of God
I take upon my shoulders, like a cross.

The past is like a star, its rays are needles.
They burn me through the sleepless nights,
when evil phantoms crowd the mind
and an insatiable vacuum feeds on
the soul (in our village, where dreams have flowed
like rivers, the initial foreboding
was torturing the soul. The hurried and unfolding
delays of fatherland, long lost).

Smeared with salt, the Milky Way lay aurous.
Smeared with salt, that Milky Way of ours
with thorns of constellations burned and beamed,
and I, barely believing, still believed
the muddled fear would not overcome
the ancient labors. Heaps of years now
piled up all straight, would shift our heavy weight.
The insults’ weave would break,
and blood and sweat would dew on our brow.

The path to Golgotha does not bear a sign.
So know thyself in the smog of clashing wills
and choose, while we are destined, still
to walk the path of tongueless tears to the finish.

I am in the heart of hearts. The heart of hearts I am.
How strangely lucid  – in all four directions.
The deaf-mute streams have burst in, and impetuously
the current raises its sharp-stranded mane.
In darkness it is forgivable to go blind,
to grow deaf in this shrieking, thick and bold.
World undergoes creation at death’s threshold;
it barely appears – then it’s out.

My way is hard. But you shall conquer height.
Enter this circle when I disappear.
Forgive me that it is empty, that it is bare.
Forgive me that we did not win the fight.
World undergoes creation at the threshold.
There all the wills come clashing in a strife.
I am in the heart of hearts. In the heart of hearts. And I
send you a greeting out of pallid cold.

translated by oksana maksymchuk