The Heat
Philosopher's Stone Poetry, 2016

Philosopher's Stone Poetry, 2016

Date Rape. Death Drive
Philosopher's Stone Poetry, 2016

But Paris
The Emerald Tablet, Philosopher's Stone Poetry, Volume II, 2016

The Emerald Tablet, Philosopher's Stone Poetry, Volume II, 2016

The Emerald Tablet, Philosopher's Stone Poetry, Volume II, 2016


A Tale of a Ring
The Emerald Tablet, Philosopher's Stone Poetry, Volume II, 2016

That One Dirty Window
The Emerald Tablet, Philosopher's Stone Poetry, Volume II, 2016

The Heat

The heat, the heat, your heat
is unbearable.
It cracks the insides of the four-valved ice box,
filled with memories:
sweet pieces of childhood
where parents are family,
tart splashes of school years
where friends are sisterhood.

The heat, the heat, your heat
is unbearable.
It leaves behind the burning scars
on translucent skin.
The wings of the whitish moth are crashed
in between of the thumb and that one nasty finger
of the creature who adores it so much.
fly little moth, fly

to the light,
to the heat.
The heat.
Your heat is unbearable.
Oh, I know the strength of the fire-proof locks,
guarding my soul,
that will never be warm—
there is no hope.
That is why the heat,
your gentle heat,
that blazes in front of me,
is unbearable.

*first published in Philosopher's Stone Poetry, 2016


the wet dead moth in my pool
reminds me of mortality
of that time
I’d almost drowned
unable to control
my breathing pattern
easily disturbed
so I train harder
meditate under

the water
the wet dead floating
turns my mind off
with uncontrollable
irrational darkness
I am no longer a mermaid a goddess
just a heavy collection of bones
like stones
dragging me below

its rusty wings outspread
keep me at the deep end
I dissolve and blend
I smear my greasy fear
I disappear
leaving a rainbow oily spill
on the surface
the wet dead source

*first published in Philosopher's Stone Poetry, 2016

Date Rape. Death Drive

wings trapped in the web
white dust covered in white silk

hairy scary head
hectic ghostly shadow

from my craving for the light
to my painful execution
I lived stupidly

injecting its poison
last tremors
last fears

soon I’ll become
to satisfy hunger

my dark wings carried me to the explicit creation of nature itself
my frail wings carried me to my death

why    for no reason
how    irreversibly

*previous edition first appeared in Philosopher's Stone Poetry in 2016, under the title "Wings"

But Paris

Menelaus sure is a great warrior,
with his thick beard, godlike and handsome—
the king, fair and prosperous.
But Paris is not ashamed to say he loves me.

Menelaus is kind and dutiful,
he sure is nice to me, and a gentle lover too.
But Paris holds me so…

Menelaus brings rich gifts
and dresses me in gowns worthy of immortal nymphs.
He makes sure nothing troubles my sleep.
But when the veil falls down, Paris looks at me
like I am a phantom that can disappear.

Menelaus treats me as must.
He knows the eloquent words,
but respects the silence.
He calls my name and bows his head,
puts his hand on my waist.
He cherishes me like a treasure,
the most precious possession.
Paris is afraid to approach me,
and breathes out passion
in simple broken whispers.

When I serve the dark wine at the feasts,
floating between the tables,
where good guests sit admiring
the abundance,
and the splendor of his palace,
Menelaus looks at me with pride.
Paris can’t hold his eyes on me
as I’m the sun, glowing, blinding.

Menelaus doesn’t let strangers approach me,
he protects me from cold, hunger, and poor.
Menelaus would follow anyone for me,
to the end of the world,
with his sword, furious,
blood-filled eyes,
unstoppable, eager to avenge and bring back to safety,
scary to look at, dangerous in a fight.
But Paris would steal me nonetheless.

*the poem first appeared in The Emerald Tablet, Philosopher's Stone Poetry, Volume II,  2016


I will hug you with my branches,
lull you with the song of my leaves,
sacred wood will be your bed,
warm, and soft.

My roots will grow deeper,
so no wind can shake,
no storm can brake
my body, slim and flexible.

Flowers will bloom and fall,
the breeze will carry petals away.
Fruit will ripen and fall,
the birds will feed on the sweet juice.

But nothing will change,
until the time comes,
so fall asleep, dear Merlin,
you will be safe here.

*the poem first appeared in The Emerald Tablet, Philosopher's Stone Poetry, Volume II,  2016


I see a shadow by the edge of the forest

swaying her hips barely covered

one look over the shoulder
of the color of a rainy day
sea grey
and sad

a shameless smirk

after her
through the thicket
leaving knives and snares behind

it's getting darker

of moving water

of the village
melting away
dogs barking irrelevant
children crying  irrelevant
men drinking yelling  irrelevant

the only

where to?


she's laughing
at me

how dares she

almost running exhaling cold steam
impatient reaching out to grab her arm
she’s slipping away nebulous

from behind
who's here?

black trees

a pair of yellow eyes
another one
and two more


she's laughing
at me

*first appeared in The Emerald Tablet, Philosopher's Stone Poetry, Volume II,  2016


A Tale of a Ring

Alex gifted me a piece of jewelry – a gold ring with a green stone, too flashy for me to wear. My husband just had surgery, and, being his best friend, Alex brought flowers—seventeen beautiful roses—not for him though, for me.

I put flowers in a vase. I gave the ring to my friend. Maria had recently left her man: he cheated on her. Again. She just had a baby and had nowhere to go, so I welcomed her to my home. And the ring, I thought, could be sold if worse comes to worst.

My husband came home and saw the flowers. I didn’t lie. So he lost a friend.

Sometime later I caught my darling with an ugly bartender. The bitch got so scared, she spilled Pinot Noir all over my sheets. I cried the whole day. But only one day. Wednesday morning I packed up summer dresses and swimming suits, and ran away with a lovely ballerina, leaving divorce papers unsigned.

Even now, three years later, it makes me smile, picturing him going through all that bureaucratic hassle in order to be declared single again: sweating, running from one door to another, knocking, begging, bribing; too stupid to understand, that not the marital status gives one freedom.

I smoke cigars in the land of sand and sun. The dark eyes of comrade Che are constantly watching from the poster in my bedroom. When the evening breeze enters from the ocean side, I sing, and my Terpsichore dances only for me. I study warm candlelight on the velvet of her skin, and we dive into the softness of silk and pillows. Our shadows on the wall become flowers, dragons, cities. Then we fall asleep with our hair braided together. Alex still sends me letters, desperate to know if I am alive and well. Maria is expecting another baby with the same abusive man. I guess some people cannot be saved by a ring.

*the story first appeared in Philosopher's Stone Poetry, 2016

That One Dirty Window

On the plateau of rural Russia, blocks of apartment buildings are grey and the sky is melancholic. Spring brings helplessness and mud, which run down the streets. A sane person cannot breath, desperate for a change. Days pass, and nothing happens. The air is fresh late at night though, when cars stop exhaling poison on the filthy streets. When the only entertainment available is walking around one’s neighborhood, one is hungry for a good company, a hand to hold on to. Though I have to note, a hand stays much warmer inside one’s pocket.

So Masha, fourteen-years-old, is continuing her quick pace around the town. Somebody is by her side. They ran out of ideas for conversation. There is no view to enjoy, no coffee shop to sit down at, and no escape in general. It is probably drizzling; it always drizzles, unless it is raining heavily like in the first days of the great flood. And, it is cold; it is always cold there for some reason. So she probably has two sweaters on. And a jacket. They stop next to the streetlight, she tries to position herself so that the wind doesn’t throw tiny drops on her face—doesn’t want her mascara to trail down her cheeks. He kisses her lips, shortly, quietly, lubberly. It is awkward—what if somebody sees? How does she tell him to stop? She moves a strand of her hair, fixes her funny beanie, and starts walking again. The couple turns onto an alley, and he speaks of the window.

“See that dusty window with stained curtains?” It is right in front of them, on the first floor, sharing its yellow light with the town.


“You know who lives there? An elderly lady and her prostitute daughter.”

Masha looks at it again. Their curtains are thin; their lamp is bright. Like they have no secrets to hide. The kitchen table is bare—no tablecloth, the wood is naked. The stove is soiled. The wallpaper is greasy. A pile of dirty dishes in the yellowed sink. She tries to imagine how it feels for these women to have only each other. How hard it is for them to love or at least accept each other.

“The daughter is old,” he says, “her skin is jaundiced and she smokes a lot.” What is old for a teenage boy? Forty? Thirty? Twenty-five? “She is bony and her hair is dry and bleached-yellow. She leaves in the evening and comes back at dawn. As a child I was always scared of her.”

They are derelict, and their existence is lonely and feared. People avoid them, as if they are diseased. Where is the father? Does he wear the cloak of shame too? Or is he respected? And loved? And happy? Masha tries to see beyond the kitchen—the room is narrow, their sofa bed is small, and the plywood cupboard would not fit enough outfits for them to change throughout a week. The sharpest blade of pity engraves her heart. The empathy born on the April night on the alley will be inevitably sore for years. Slowly the ghostly shadow moves from what seems to be a bathroom door and sits down on the stool at the corner, in front of the black and white TV. Now the picture is complete. This dirty window is the heart of her hometown.

*The story first appeared in The Emerald Tablet, Philosopher's Stone Poetry, Volume II,  2016