Poet: Darryl Willis
I wake in the cool gray dawn of Donetsk
in summer time. The city of roses
is filled with a million faces:
sweet and somber, lovely and lonely.
My friend, Taras reads me his poems
as we sit in the park but no one can hear
unless they close their eyes and dream
of prisons and soldiers and solitaire.
I wander Kovanykh Figur among
the fairy tales and fantasies.
In Shcherbakov, two lovers are found
kissing among cascading springs.
Across the bridge the brass padlocks
remind me of my loneliness.
I extend my hand to trace an outline
but her image is gone: her eyes, her lips.
And the lovers stroll with arms entwined
in the cool gray dusk of lovely Donetsk.
I held out my hand for you and dreamed
the day you would reciprocate.
Perhaps you did as we ran
full speed into the night. We chased
the light into the dawn. I knew
something bright waited on
the other side, but all the gold
that glitters is not for me: nor was
it for you, it seems. That
which sifted through our hands and hearts
were the ashes of what we hoped
but was never meant to be
for us. At least this was the lie
we kept repeating. And after thirty-
five years down the road
the self same lie we still repeat