Vladimir Levchev - LOVE IN THE SQUARE

When I was young I had a dream:
I’m walking down the street and realize
I’m naked from the waist down:
passers-by shoot glances at me
and me, I’m dying of shame …
Or it dawns on me
that I am late for school
a whole day … a year … many years
and I won’t be able to graduate …
Or Evil’s chasing me
into the square
and my legs go weak,
tangled like my tongue,
betraying me …

I had a good dream too:
I’m naked in the public square,
but I wave the shame away –
the stone falls from my heart –
I shovel the air and swim –
breaststroke, sweet and slow –
I rise above passers-by, the flowerbeds –
I love them!
I fly through the May air
naked and free,
like a storm-bird, like a seagull –
naked and free
like the soul after death.

Translated by the author with Tom Philips