October 06

First Ending of the Fairytale

Ilya Kaminsky

To your voice, a mysterious virtue,
to the 53 bones of one foot, the four dimensions of breathing,

to pine, redwood, sworn-fern, peppermint,
to hyacinth and bluebell lily,

to the train conductor’s donkey on a rope,
to smells of lemons, a boy pissing splendidly against the trees.

Bless each thing on earth until it sickens,
until each ungovernable heart admits: “I confused myself

and yet I loved—and what I loved
I forgot, what I forgot brought glory to my travels,

to you I traveled as close as I dared, Lord."


Image: Peter Azrak


Ilya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, USSR, and arrived in US in 1993. His book Dancing in Odessa won the Whiting Writers Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters's Metcalf Award & was ForeWord Magazine's Best Book of the Year 2004.