Kuprianov and Natasha
Kuprianov and his dear lady Natasha after walking those swinish guests to the door prepare for bed.
said, taking off his majestic tie:
Frightening the dark the candle burns,
it has silver bones.
why do you stroll about yearning,
the guests are probably for certain long since gone.
I even forgot, Marusia,
o darling let us go to bed,
I want to dig around in you
in search of interesting things.
It’s not for nothing they say we have different constitutions.
(taking off her blouse)
Kuprianov, there’s little sense in this candle,
I fear it wouldn’t have lit up a poodle,
and there’s two of us here.
I fear I will howl
from anguish, passion, terror, thought,
I fear you o mistress shirt,
you that hides me within,
I am entangled in you like a fly.
(taking off his jacket)
Soon you and I, Natasha
will embark on our funny recreation.
The two of us, the two of us
will occupy ourselves with procreation.
We will become like tuna.
(taking off her skirt)
O God, I’m left without a skirt.
What am I to do in my painted pants.
Meanwhile on chairs stood goblets, rather silver and pert,
wine blackened like a monk
and the moribund worm twitched.
I feel even shame.
I’m becoming naked like the sky,
nothing is visible as yet,
but soon a star will twinkle.
It’s so disgusting.
(taking off his pants)
Soon I’ll appear by your side
almost naked like the tide.
I do remember now: at times like these
I felt a certain sacred rapture
as I beheld a woman’s fountainhead
green or blue
but it was red.
I laughed like one who’d lost his mind,
I stroked the satin hemispheres of her behind.
Yes, I was happy.
And I thought woman is a reed,
she is almost human,
an unattainable duck.
Hurry up please.
(taking off her pants)
Shedding my plumage
I think of how I’m causing stimulation
to your olfactory glands
and optical nerves.
You gorge yourself upon my earthly image
and can foretaste the pleasure
of standing upon me like a tower two o’clock.
You glimpse the hair through my shirt,
divine the beating of my wave,
but why then does my mind cloud up,
I’m half asleep like boredom.
(taking off his lower pants)
I’ll take these off too, I suppose,
to make me different from a corpse,
to bring our epidermises close.
Let us examine our faces in the glass:
I’m moderately mustachioed. This flush
is caused by passion.
My eyes flash and I tremble.
And you are beautiful and clear,
your breasts are like two basins,
maybe we’re devils.
(taking off her shirt)
Look, I’m absolutely naked,
I have become one long face,
that’s how I get in the bathtub.
Here from my sides two brown shoulders
stick out like candles,
beneath them swell two breasts,
the nipples lie on them like medals,
a belly sits below, deserted,
and also my modest furry entrance
and two extremities, significant and sparkling,
between which we are left darkling.
Perhaps you wish to see the landscape of my dark,
perhaps you wish to see the landscape of my back.
Here are two pleasant shoulder blades
like soldiers slumbering in tents
and further on the wondrous seat,
its heavenly sight
must strike you.
And the moribund worm twitched,
as she displayed her intricate body.
(taking off his shirt)
How everything is boring
and monotonously nauseating,
look, like a naked herring
I stand before you, luxuriating,
and my fourth arm
points mightily to the skies.
If only someone came to look at us,
we are alone alone with Christ
upon this icon.
It’s interesting to know how long we took to undress.
Half an hour, I reckon. What’s your guess?
Meanwhile they embraced
and approached the marriage bed.
“You are definitively dear to me Natasha,”
She lies below and lifts her legs
and tongueless the candle burns.
So, Kuprianov, I am down.
Make the dark come.
The last ring of the world
that isn’t yet pried apart
is you upon me.
And the black apartment
smirked momentarily above them from afar.
Lie down lie down Kuprianov,
we’ll die soon.
No, I don’t want to. (Exits).
How horrible, I am alone,
I am a stone, I am a moan,
I am so sad, I am so lonely
moving my hand only. (Cries.)
(indulging in solitary pleasure on a chair)
I entertain myself.
OK, it’s over,
The moribund worm nods off.
(putting on her shirt)
I took you off for the act of love
because the world is not enough,
because the world does not exist,
because it’s above me.
So here I am a solitary ape
with my insane shape.
(putting on his shirt)
Look Natasha it’s getting light out.
(putting on her pants)
Leave me alone. Get out of my sight.
I tickle myself.
I swell with marvelous joy.
I am my own fountainhead.
I love another.
I silently put on slumber.
From my state of nakedness
I will pass to the conflagration of clothes.
(putting on his lower pants)
I have no hopes.
I feel myself grow smaller,
airless and angrier.
The eyes of such sultry ladies
send fires through my body’s alleys.
I’m not myself.
The moribund worm yawns.
(putting on her skirt)
What shame, what shamelessness.
I’m with a total bastard.
He is the ordure of humanity
and the likes of him will also become immortal.
It was night. There was nature.
The moribund worm yawns.
(putting on his pants)
O natural philosophy, o logic, o mathematics, o art,
it’s not my fault I believed in the force of the last emotion.
O how everything goes dark.
The world ends by choking.
I make it sick,
it makes me sick.
Dignity sinks into the final clouds.
I never believed in any quantity of stars,
I believed in one star.
It turned out I was a solitary rider
and we didn’t become like tuna.
(putting on her blouse)
Look idiot look
at the extremities of my breasts.
They vanish, they retreat, they float off,
touch them you fool,
they are on the edge of a long sleep.
I turn into a cottonwood,
(putting on his jacket)
I said that the female is almost human,
she is a tree.
What’s there to do.
I’ll smoke, I’ll sit around, I’ll think.
It seems stranger and stranger
that time still moves,
that it breathes.
Can time be stronger than death,
maybe we’re devils.
Farewell dear Natasha cottonwood.
The sun rises violent as light.
I understand nothing.
He gets smaller and smaller and disappears.
Nature indulges in solitary pleasure.
Translated by Eugene Ostashevsky
Earlier version published in New American Writing 20 and available at http://www.newamericanwriting.com/20/avvedensky.htm