Katia Kapovich


A Change of Wind

On the eighth day he coined the word “alone”
and saw that it was as good as everything else.
A yellow school bus rattled down the lane,
a wind blew in a drainpipe, strong, mellifluous.

I brought two empty crates to the parking lot,
watched neighbors with briefcases and car keys.
At noon a mailman passed by where I sat
invisible, like a tree among trees.

A Portrait of a Dog as an Older Guy

When his owner died in 2000 and a new family
moved into their Moscow apartment,
he went to live with mongrels in the park.
In summer there was plenty of food, kids
often left behind sandwiches, hotdogs and other stuff.
He didn’ t have a big appetite,
still missing his old guy.
He too was old, the ladies no longer excited him,
and he didn’ t burn calories chasing them around.
Then winter came and the little folk abandoned the park.
The idea of eating from the trash occurred to him

To the Quarry and Back

White hail pelting the frozen bog,
I’ m stuck in the first line of January,
following my host’ s dog
on his walk through the stone century,
around the quarry, slices of marble and mud,
past a herd of miners exhaling smoke,
past a barn smelling of merde,
and back to where I’ m stuck and broke.
The fucking dog barks at the night,
mad at the stars all his life and then again.
I rethink kicking him out,
but being cool, I let him in.