These people taught me everything—
the alphabet, how to count, Russian;
how to hold a pencil or plane.
Which leaves one question: why?—no response.
And then there’s no one between us, a void.
“When you departed . . . All the sounds of the universe . . .”—
Roasted meat, a picnic in full swing.
I move closer, peer down at the faces.
I ask: “Aren’t we all friends here?!”
They laugh in response.
Jangling guitars and soaring kites.
As the music fades, I
take a step. A breath.
Old snow crunches in the woods, crumbles.
My heart pounds, ready to burst.
And then nothing, quiet.
The forest resembles an unfnished cathedral.
The scent of damp wood chips.
A stream glimmers beyond the columns.
Copyright © 2014 Gleb Shulpyakov
Used with the permission of Canarium Books.