Doctorow comes out onto the dark shore,
holding a hand over his worn-out heart,
death like some cheap, picked-up whore,
waits in the back seat of the car.
Doctorow throws pebbles into the foam
watches the flame of the sunrise, red,
there beyond the ocean Hyperboreans roam,
at least, that's what Herodotus said,
they are tall as palm trees, as sugar white,
spend their days in the darkness polar
know not a trace of fear or fright,
and their huts are covered with signs solar,
where like as cooled ash is sorrow,
where my life has left not a single trace,
I would like to drink to you Doctorow
to your old age in your American place,
beyond the ocean there, as a palm tree slender,
youthful like Odin and devoid of pity,
you stand on the bridge, the weather is tender
and throw a pebble into the Hudson of your city,
tipsy and happy above the waters that shiver,
and Valkyrie in her miniskirt next to you glides,
and pelicans throw themselves into the river,
stretching arms sideways like suicides.
English translation copyright 2021 Yana Djin and Dmitry Melnikoff.
Dmitry Melnikoff, born in 1967, lives in Moscow and in the Tverskoy Region of Russia.
Yana Djin, a regular contributor to Vox Populi, is a Georgian-American poet who lives in New York.