The Dog

by Vasyl Makhno

this wind that comes to me as a dog
with three blue eyes

carries above me by chance a few sea gulls
that shriek bewailing someone
dry sand stuck to the dog’s wet hair
beach garbage
wrapped in colored magazine covers

while posing as a dog
he injures his paws on the bones of dead fish
and the moss-covered green sandy shore
stitched through with dried stalks
of algae
seems altogether irrelevant here

grabbing an abandoned bag with food
he growls and tears the polyethylene

but he has no master
therefore no one yells at him
nor yanks at the leash of his collar

the dog shines at me from afar
with his three blue eyes
like a friend with a cigarette lighter
the flame of which singes his fingers
(because it’s windy out)
but – as a true friend – he wants nevertheless
to light my cigarette

and on this day – by the ocean – it is windy
and I see how one of the dog’s eyes is watering
and changing color
while behind his right ear flares up monotonously
the light from a lighthouse

it is my friend who wants to light my cigarette
and is sending some kind of a signal

Translated from Ukrainian by Orest Popovych

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