Andrei Voznesensky


Italian Garage

Translated by Daniel Weissbort

The floor is mosaicked
like a carp.
Asleep in the palazzo

is the night garage.

Motorbikes there are like Saracens
or locusts folded up in sleep.

There are no Paolos, no Juliets,
just moist, breathing Chevrolets.

Giotto frescos are reflected
like mechanics in the bonnets.

Spectres of theft and battle hover.
What is the night garage dreaming of?

or tyrants?
or women
from the restaurant?

Only one motorbike is hushed –
their crimsonest.

What’s it waiting for? Tomorrow it’s Christmas day.
It’ll cave in like a soft-boiled egg.

Oranges and people applauding…
Those who smash themselves

are immortal!

We were not born for survival
but to coax the most out of speedometers!..

Red, done for, burn! Burn!
But I weep for the girl on the pillion…

Notes on this poem

© Zoya Boguslavskaya.