llizavet (llizavet) wrote,
llizavet
llizavet

Poem Translation

Gypsy Cigarettes (modified/simple rhyme scheme)
by Andre Rodinov

The cigarettes don’t sell themselves, and so there’s Nikolai,
Sitting in the kiosk among the bones of a worker’s paradise.
Chocolates too won’t buy themselves, so every morning she must try,
To have her taste of Twix and things no matter what the price.

Ten thousand rubles each she pays, ten thousand and a sneer,
His smile strange, she breathes into his face, her fire much too near.

And when she goes he dreams of her, languishing in a patrol car’s seat,
And himself he sees on the driver’s side, baton and cuffs in hand.
He’ll pull her down, and down, he’ll have her at his feet,
Her hair in his hand and her mouth on him, she’ll burn at his command.

He stews himself in the thought of her, steeps in a streetlamp’s light,
Dreams of her fire—stifled like his—of never putting up a fight.

He imagines of an angel desensitized, as vodka bottles on the shelf cast halos
In multicolored beams . . .
Of the dismembered body found in the park, he hasn’t dared to dream.


* * *

Gypsy Cigarettes (With original rhyme scheme)
by Andre Rodinov

The cigarettes don’t sell themselves, and so there’s Nikolai,
Sitting in the kiosk among the bones of a worker’s paradise.
Chocolates too won’t buy themselves, so every morning she must try,
To have a taste of Twix and things while journeying to school.

Nikolai keeps a smile for her that’s nearing on a sneer,
Trading candy and promises for ten thousand rubles each.
She exchanges her change for her breath on his face,
A jet of smoke with invisible fire, exhaled much too near.

Nikolai sits and dreams of himself, of wearing a policeman’s shoes,
Perched in a patrol car all his own in place of his throne of crates.
He’ll order her inside with him, demand she pay her civilians’ dues,
By tasting a candy all his own.

He sits in the pool of a streetlamp, half hidden in forests of vodka and newly imported brandy,
Bottles casting their silhouettes on a display of knock-off Marlboro lights
In multicolored halos . . .
He hides in his dream not knowing still, that in the park just an hour ago,
Encased in a gym bag—a real policeman—found her dismembered body.
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