The Future

Translated from Russian by Sergey Gerasimov.

The Awakenings, Oskar Kokoschka

Poplars, steel-white from dust, are waiting for rain,
like a moraine that waits for a snowfall,
and dreams of catching a handful of snowflakes with its
elongated stone mouth.
And we always wait for our bright future. It should
fall down on us, sweep us from our feet,
lick our face like a tender, vigorous St. Bernard dog,
throw us on the electric couch of happiness, but no,
just cold blades of crystals percolate into the present moment,
just tiny droplets condense on the invisible wall that keeps you safe from
the tsunami of time,
like a wall of glass in a terrarium keeps you safe from alligators.
Acceleration is a glimpse into the future: just run along the path,
through the leaves that spread out like a monitor lizard’s fingers
and you’ll feel a tiny bit of your future,
just get in the driver’s seat and speed along a highway,
go on a binge or go on war, and there you are:
your future happily absorbs you, blinds you,
infects garden statues with TB of the bones,
scratches their walleyes, making them almost alive.
And it doesn’t matter whether you are lit up by a book
or fogged by a woman, your every step
is a step of a ballerina made of hard cheese
that is dancing on the kitchen grater, a sharp sloping grater of minutes.
Don’t hurry into the esophagus of the future.
Rabbit sinking into the inner world of an anaconda,
hang on to the walls with your claws, with your ears,
when the muscles contract, pushing you down through the pipe.
If I could, I’d escape from the future into anything branching off of it,
into art, creativity, friendship, love, with you or without you.
Oh dear, they are driving a horde of hamsters
with brooms along the street,
towards the dragons…