Eugenia Neverova, Une Rencontre Dans Un Boulevard, Été

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Not a miser,

But miserable.

Sandals pulled

Over sorry socks.

Humbly scrapes pink

Gravel. An ice-cream cone

Of a man. What quivers more,

His hands, or his flabby cheeks?

‘Excuse me, do you mind’, he bleats.

And leaves a white thing with pages, poems

On the bench beside; wipe cream off my fingers –

Here I go. And there he goes, round the playground,

By someone’s pictures of the Urals, New York and Siberia,

PRINTED IN A2, with a story in tiny letters to each; but not too far.

By stalls of talentless but desperate, with badly-painted natures mortes,

Peaches the size of a melon, for sale, expensive; not much further than that.

By bronze horse heads ever struggling in a current, ever near ready to give in,

While Sholokhov does not even have to look ahead; still to feel me with his back.

Leaves one white thing with all of us, and walks back to this place, to the start.

Under rows and rows of tall trees that might be maples, that could be limes,

Even though it is not Berlin (it could have been); repeating all once again.

By shiny red bikes from the Bank of Moscow, a major improvement

To the city, claims the perpetual mayor; the same in reverse order.

By punks, hipsters, Tajikistani, a promising young man, about 23

Playing the guitar, all listen but no coins; withdrawing slowly.

By summer cafés, benches, cardboard tea and coffee cups

Eons before you can take a sip; away from Gogol’s back.

A girl, in yellow dress, scared off a newspaper kiosk

By a bum, forgets about change; close to me now.

Unconvincing rhymes on wars, archangels,

‘It is not costly, for a book’, he stutters.

I wonder if I am too young, or if I am

Too ignorant to open it? The man

Fades, I think. Into the grass.

Turns into a dandelion,

A feeble fluffy thing.

A thing he was

Meant to be.

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