Nikolai Oleinikov, p.2


I was madly in love with a fly.
O friends, it was so long ago,
When I was happy and young,
When young and happy was I.

I would pick up a microscope,
Observing her studiously:
Her cheeks, her eyes and her forehead—
And then I’d direct it at me!

And I saw that the two of us
Were complimentary to no end,
That she was in love with me too,
My glittering, many-legged girlfriend.

She flew in circles above me,
She knocked and she beat on the glass.
Sometimes we would join in a kiss.
What was time to me when she loved me?

But years have passed and disease
Holds me with oppressive caress.
In my ears, in my back, in my knees,
Shooting pains interrupt my rest.

I now am no longer myself
And my fly, oh, my fly is no more.
She no longer buzzes and sings,
She no longer knocks on the window.

An invisible serpent doth gnaw at my heart
And forgotten emotions are stirred.
There’s nothing before me now, nothing...
O my fly! O my trembling bird!