Coffee in Starbucks

in december - in downtown new york -
drinking coffee in Starbucks - i watch
two mexicans laying marble wall slabs
in the entrance to the building

an irksome Jingle Bells keeps playing in the café
new yorkers shimmer with their christmas gifts and cars
street peddlers sell the tourists all kinds of crap
the policemen snooze peacefully in their warm car
there's a line to get into a church - no, today's not Sunday -
the opening of some exhibit

well, here's the twelfth apostle of the year -
december is sitting down at the table of the last supper
from the bag you unpack the meager fruits of your days
to host the twelve apostles
on my way i ran into a store and hastily bought them
but they know everything
and in silence you'll finish eating the unleavened bread
of the year's end

well, the time is approaching when the bitter experience
of the fruits and the soured milk of your days
appear all the more often on your daily table
when the sound of the ocean all the more often
hangs in the space of your words
all the more often like a five-year-old you take small steps
to the sheepfold to breathe the sheep exhalations
because - they say - it will relieve your dry cough

well, here you are - a forty-year-old man -
you're still composing words
you're still scribbling them down - what else is new here?
from ancient times only a few managed to float
across the ocean of millennia
today - together with you a hundred thousand poets
are composing dictionaries of their language
at least the debris of a strophe will float its way
(if there'd be a way to float somewhere)
at least the sound of your language - according to the laws
of astronomy - becoming like a star -
that no longer is - (if those laws aren't wrong)

well, here you're using up the last days of the old year -
like a hotel room you've already paid for -
you drink up the coffee - and watch:

two mexicans - cutting the stone slab -
both of them lift it up - fitting it to
the wall - again they slowly lower it and again they cut it

the stone slab is heavy

life is easy

Translation: Michael M. Naydan

by Vasyl Makhno

Comments (0)

There is no comment submitted by members.