Poetry to Bridge The Gap: Ella Yevtushenko’s Autumn Begins with Something Trivial

The space between your feet and mine is the space where stand the nations divided. To bind and remake into oneness our separation, to remind us that we are, in essence, the scattered beating heart of one body—for that we have art, the first of many things.

[autumn begins with something trivial by Ella Yevtushenko]

autumn begins with something trivial: keys forgotten in another city, 
silver coins of cough in the throat, a Turkish cup of tea,
copper coins, water in the battery,
I did not feel it, and it is already here, huddling a stray cat, rubbing its legs
leaving faded leaves on jeans
only on such a rainy night there can be a knock on the balcony door, only on such a rainy night can it be opened
but who will be behind it depends on whether the nut fell asleep on its guard under the window, whether the pines will reach the torn hem of the clouds.
and whether lightning repeats the pattern of veins on your temples.
autumn begins with something childish — it knocks on the door and runs away; 
I want to read all day in bed; you are wrapped like a mummy, 
damp gauze of mist —
and continues with something old: it does not take any alcohol, 
a diamond of cold pulsates in its knees
and so again — every time — and every time this is the first topic of conversation
as if there is nothing more important than this autumn, 
wet as a morning under a prematurely peeled crust
it steals airtime from work conversations, intercepts a wave of gossip, 
lies down with a stray cat on the balcony, where piles of secrets should gather.
autumn drives us to the kitchen and makes us put the kettle on
autumn begins with something trivial, but grows quickly like other people’s children
a penny of winter will roll out of its cold womb, the snow will cover the mummified us, frozen in half a word
then, no one knocks on the balcony window in the middle of the night any longer
and then there is a general risk of ceasing to exist for a while

Translated by Yury Zavadsky

Ella Yevtushenko, born in 1996, has published an acclaimed debut collection, Lichtung, and won multiple poetry competitions in Ukraine.