Serhiy Zhadan

Two Poems

The Man Who Drowned Himself

(from “Self-Murderers”)
when you looked back
your footprints
were floating on the waves
like dead fishes
the road was too long
you started to sink
into the water
like a knife into butter
and parallel to you
the lead ingots
of your footprints
descended to the bottom
only a sodden cherry cross
spread its clumsy arms
on the thin water membrane
stuck to the surface
and for some reason
reminded you of a mast
on a sunken ship

translated by Alan Zhukovski
written by Serhiy Zhadan

Alan Zhukovski is a poet and translator. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in the New Statesman, Ambit, The London Magazine, The Threepenny Review, Agenda, Tin House, Oxford Poetry, Acumen, Plume, Gulf Coast, Asymptote, Orbis, Blackbird, The Fortnightly Review, and elsewhere.


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