Heading Home

Poetry Anzhelina Polonskaya
Translated from the Russian by Andrew Wachtel

In my dreams I’m heading home.
Where? Where’s my home?
It’s where the ash
sifts down slowly on my face,
blindingly white.

I’ve forgotten where the train’s from
and where it’s going,
whom can I ask, How old,
how old am I now?

No engineer, no conductor.
On the train of life—
no one to take my ticket.

Fragile human glass—
what’s sharper than its shards?
It flows across bared arms,
bare hands.

Besides your love, nothing to help find my way.
Clouds, clouds.
You stand and wait
at an abandoned station,
alone. Like a cross’s shadow.
Like a cross.

Andrew Wachtel is the president of the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and a translator of poetry and prose from Russian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Bulgarian, and Slovenian. His most recent books include Russian Literature (Polity) and Remaining Relevant After Communism: The Role of the Writer in Eastern Europe (University of Chicago).

“Each new issue feels like a public report from many individual private spheres.” —Antoine Wilson

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Issue 25



Winter 2017


Anzhelina Polonskaya is the author of several poetry collections. Translations of her work include A Voice (Northwestern University) and Paul Klee’s Boat (Zephyr), which was shortlisted for the 2014 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation.


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