Ilya Kaminsky

Second Ending of the Fairy-tale

Such is the story made of stubbornness and a little air,
a story sung by those who danced before the Lord in silence,
who whirled and leapt. Giving voice to consonants that rise
with no protection but each other’s ears
we are on our bellies in this silence, Lord.
Let us wash our faces in the wind and forget the strict shapes of affection.
Let the pregnant woman hold something of clay in her hand
for the secret of patience (no secret) is more patience.
Let her man kneel on the roof, clearing his throat,
he who loved roofs, tonight and tonight, making love to her and her forgetting,
a man with a fast heartbeat, a woman dancing with a broom, uneven breath.
Let them borrow the light from the blind.
Let them kiss your forehead, approached from every angle.
What is silence? Something of the sky in us.
There will be evidence, there will be evidence.
Let them speak of air and its necessities. Whatever they will open, will open.

Ilya Kaminsky
Second Ending of the Fairy-tale was published previously, in a different form, in Columbia Poetry Review.
Appearing on From the Fishouse with permission of the author