в машине (in the car)
by Alisa Chamberlin
the seven-hour trip begins. a man
we paid to take us (мама, бабушка,
и я) [Mama, grandma and I] through the пустырь [emptiness, plains]
that is russia. my mom says something
about camels, or лошади (horses) living here.
all i see is dirt, abandoned здание, [buildings]
грязный ад [dirty/filthy hell]. clear blue skies do nothing
to hide the пустой [empty]world. a gas station:
then open road, stretching длиннее [longer]
than my eyes can see. sitting atop
a throne of багаж,[baggage] i reign king
of the leather чемодан [suitcase/briefcase] empire.
us against the desert: yellow травинки [strands of grass]
and tumbleweeds tell us we are not
alone. the earth is тихий [quiet] here:
никого нет. [nobody here/around] concrete structures
like boils plague the land. no windows,
no doors. the apocalypse держит своё. [holds its own]
пять часов. [five oclock] i eat black bread for dinner.
the only animals i’ve seen are the ones
внутри моей головы. [inside my head] a fire truck screams
by, entering a concrete hell. астрахань [Astrakhan—city] waves
in the heat, over the horizon. городской
горизонт [city horizon] welcomes me back: добро
пожаловать домой. [welcome home]
About the Writer...
Alisa Chamberlain is a bilingual Russian-American who enjoys writing poetry about culture, self-identity and mental health. She loves animals and rock & roll music.
About the Artist...
Sachiko Rivamonte is a senior at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. At DASOTA, Sachiko is a visual arts major. The medium of their piece is pencil.