Skip to content →

Music of Locusts

what i wouldn’t give

to be a small freckle on the wind’s nose

to ride in a convertible

beside a middle-aged man

a teenager will do

it’s as if everything that has happened

is nothing but Security which you have to pass through

in order to get into summer

god tossed a heart like a coin

inside me

as if i were a pond

he made a wish

and lingered in the air

and everything belongs to me but hope

the mountains are kneeling like runners at the starting line

their green t-shirts billowing in the wind

then they are gigantic tortoises

he will offer to leave me

the color of his skin is

like the color of the sun at dusk

and the road is parting in front of the wheels

like an army of locusts as it rushes ahead of us

like god’s stray eyelashes

the stars are falling — more light! more!

god has no time to make a wish

all he can do is cry out faster! faster!

it’s impossible to fall asleep next to this man

at night all that’s left of my body

is the music of locusts

from Factory of TearsFind it in the library

Copyright © 2008 Valzhyna Mort (Trans. Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright and Franz Wright)
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in Poems Valzhyna Mort


Leave a Reply

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.