Three poems by Alesya Loseva
Aļesja Loseva is an author of Belarusian origin who was born in Latvia. The influence and temperament of the Latvian, Belarusian and Russian languages are intertwined in her poetic voice. In public appearances, she talks about Belarusian literature and the dire situation of political prisoners in Belarus. Collections of poetry and translated poetry have been published in Rīgas almanahs, Konteksts and Punctum.
the braid my dad made
threatening my well-honed
but saving from crimes
to which the braids
of world’s girls are subject
it tactfully supplemented
my spousal portrait
along with a rosary
slammed into my skull at an angle
strangely enough, it was impossible
to unravel that time
when I was lying in the grave
and waiting for you
to take care of all the paperwork,
so that the two of us could finally be resurrected
it grew longer and kept
getting in the way
not letting to fall asleep forever
so every time when
I feel like screaming
that there is no making peace with tyrants
either in beds or governments,
that Soviet times were stupid,
that boys grow up,
but I never picked up smoking
I hug my dad
and go to plait me a braid
I ended up here around sunset
when the firstborn was no longer cut out
in the search for a king and
were no longer drowned in buckets because of their race
but were yet to be fed warm milk
on demand but by a schedule scrupulously worked out
by party members I don’t remember but am reasonably
certain that shoved into an incubator I experienced my first culture shock
and in an indecipherable language protested loudly against this state of affairs
my native empire at the time was mourning its leader
not burying so the man would continue to stink and
the pain some baby felt against the backdrop
of this world tragedy had weight much too small
(later I got that worlds care not at all)
just like any other human child my blood was populated by white and red cells
but completely white I turned because of crying not because of my origins
the vast majority in my blood did not agree with me
yet continued to provide the oxygen which became my only food
on the first two days of my life
a young Belarusian beauty bestowed me
with life at the time when there was no sex and
the holy ghost was deported
it was probably aliens from outer space who were responsible for my arrival
when the schedules of party members lacked some check marks for a happy childhood
they transferred the task to the beauties
like conscripts they had to know how to bare their breasts in the right way
without previous training and lewd literature
on breastfeeding techniques and delivery experiences
some other ill-advised literature suggests that the moment before saving the world
creator’s legs were firmly together and covered in blood
whereas all other creators know that only the second condition is the case in reality
that’s why so many still feel it’s proper to shame them
for the strange habit to place all the love of this world
at spread feet
the pieces of ice that were thrown
on my beauty’s belly as a magnanimous gesture on the part of the obstetricians
were a poor anesthetic but slowly changing their state
they fell on our shoulders like a cross-shaped flagpole
to be used for truce the way warring sides do
when they start longing for a neutral airspace full of flowers mothballs
and other smells of death’s foreplay from horizons as blue
as my mother’s milk dismissed by contemporary science
but now I know for sure that blue milk flowing from breasts
happens as the blue blood underneath warms up
we were already observed by the winds of change yet time that love spends in forced exile
regardless whether it’s the eternal two hours on the birthing table where they’ve forgotten you
with obstetricians whisking off only your firstborn or two days in an incubator
that seem eternal or two millennia where none of us
is eternal and does not count in the overall work history of love
that’s why even in old age God has to do with peanuts
my childhood however was happy thanks to the shrewd and educated
Belarusian who chose as my father the local Abrene man of Slavic origins
and with the truest of souls and my strange soul grew along with it
benefiting from the clear air of Latvian borderland and Belarusian countryside
it learned to love in various tongues and rejoiced that its temple
was hardened under a military commander’s guidance with morning exercises and
Montessori-style self-made hand motor skills enhancing
Materials: wooden tanks warplanes and tractors
I was a true country proletarian with skinned knees
only my borzoi’s body and pale complexion
kept indicating irregularities in my bloodbitch root system and my noble Russian
skin was a challenge to the Baltic sun and it keeps taking its revenge regularly
turning my golden tresses into lackluster rye maiden’s oakum
a guy with a mohawk in a jean jacket and smelling of a foreign aftershave
and freedom did not become my first love I liked
his shorts made of the Soviet Latvian flag with the hammer and sickle
placed right on his ass and it was a nice ass yet all other
signs indicated that dating him would mean a shitstorm at home
times how changed yet many shrewd and educated Belarusian beauties are subject
to a shitstorm
in their own homes while I am safe
the vast majority in my blood does not agree with me
but I can’t turn off the oxygen in myself
(I forgot a pen, jotted down with an eyebrow pencil. Will have to put it up on Instagram)
We dug beets together.
You were so upset about the closed sugar factory,
that you menaced some gentleman’s gourd.
Such is politics.
Little rabbits had spent quite some time in the carrot bed.
They pulled them out one by one. Rinsed them off.
Ate and laughed with delight.
Some childhood that was!
The cherry tree had not been invited.
Starlings once conquered this and neighboring gardens.
They screeched, picked, and shat. They dropped down the pits.
The tree kept feeling like it didn’t belong yet continued to bloom and produce.
Such is history.
The autumn pigs dug up the potato field.
They happily grunted and screeched.
Dogs, barking, rushed over to save the spuds.
How hilarious that was!
I dug up the dahlia tubers alone,
protecting my best memories.
I kept them in a cool and dark place.
No light enters here. But neither do frosts.
Such is love.
In the Linde Park trees grow with their roots up in the air.
It's captivating. They are connected.
We are like that.