Speaking In Tongues
Scribbling In Voices

Aleksandr Kushner

The Jasmine Shrubs

Translated by Alex Sitnitsky

The gospel from the jasmine shrubs,
Breathing a drizzle and blanching in a messy
Twilight of alleys, clearly speaks for us
Just as the one from Saint Matthew.
So white, so wet. It tempts with every tense,
Luminous twig. The petals fly so airily.
You must be blind or deaf if any other evidence
Of instant miracles besides this is still necessary.
You must be blind or deaf and tend to blame the innocent.
Meanwhile harming someone whom you are seeking.
Were the shrubs to touch you, poor thing,
You will begin seeing and speaking.