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Iryna Zhylenko

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Iryna Zhylenko

  • A Fragment from

    The Flirtation with a Butterfly

    Winding its way down on

    Bulvarno-Kudriavska Street,

    across Lvivska Square, rain

    was looking back, it was feeling remorse

    for a lady it’s sloshed.


    On Bulvarno-Kudriavska,

    near Orpheus Cafe,

    rain was rushing in the door,

    it was feeling remorse,

    for a port wine diluted.


    And the lady with a glass

    did not want to make a scene

    (for a song was sung on the stage),

    the lady just sighed:

    ‘Do you feel no shame

    looking so often into the glass?’


    On Bulvarno-Kudriavska,

    in the glassy cafe,

    the rain overdid it

    and drowned in wine.


    And the lady just sighed

    (for she had no more money

    to order another glass),

    and she whispered:

    ‘That’s a lesson for ladies,

    never try to flirt with rain–’


    And que faire? To a tune

    of a soprano, the lady

    bravely gulped

    that dubious cocktail.

    (Iryna Zhylenko. The Gospel after a Swallow. Collected poems. Kyiv: A-Ba-Ba-Ha-La-Ma-Ha, 2017, p. 267–268.)

    The poem was published in the collection The Blossom of Grizzle (2003).

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