You could not have made a better sanctuary
than the ages of you
all tucked underneath.
From the darkening depth of them in a stolen gaze
to the glimmer of still childish eyes you look at me
all years at once.
I suppose I could see it in anybody
if I stopped looking for it.
And I’m sure if you saw me
playing in the sandbox with plastic Soviet toys
in a playground,
in the South-East Moscow,
outside of the apartment buildings and before my English lessons,
when I still took English lessons,
before the first Mars bars had been imported
or western cartoons on TV, or advertisement,
and before I liked to draw with markers, because soviet markers weren’t
as exciting or colorful as the ones from Poland that I had later,
before I liked cheese, because there was only one kind of it around,
before the time I can describe with memories and not conjectures,
when I was four or three—
you’d know me.
Except warfare of days, which make boredom
such a flattering leisurely wealth in comparison,
has brought troublesome skill to you.
You can look at me ageless, corneas icing over quickly with glass,
and I can no longer tell if the shimmer in them might betray stalling tears
or the gloss off irrelevance.
You look blind underneath that distracting glare,
with no life to remember,
no moment I’d know could only be yours had I seen it,
like that photo you have of yourself as a kid,
with your eyes cupped in the shadow of your hands,
to hide from the camera.