The Manchester Review
Yvonne Green
Senyon Izrailevitch Lipkin: Translations
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I'm a bachelor who loves to stay in hotels,
visit Cossack stanitsas, order chirchir,
curse market women, then move on
to unlock the miserly earth's secrets

you forget the way home in the fresh air, deep sky
of places that use Arabic nicknames,
and mark a hero's tomb with a tapered shaft.
Look, I've already passed the mosque, the graveyard

a valley shines in the distance straddled by a bridge
shining like a crescent moon in a nameless river
which shifts a bed of glassy rubble as it meanders.
By the time I get back here the river will be dry

leaving sticks, logs, a bed of rubble in the sun
will I bless or curse the parched earth? I'll stop a while
then walk away in the stony haze, past jagged rocks
until I disappear, a nameless river