Tatiana Retivov

“Heliconia Orchid,” by Barbara Weightman


          I once wrote
when merely bound

for the open seas.

I do not
beyond the gate

(“He peers through the gate
And no longer perceives anyone”)
From I-Ching # 55

for fear of stumbling
          upon an unmarked grave.

You appear in my dreams, sometimes, joking and jangling loose change in those corduroy pants’ pockets. Chain-smoking aperpetual cigarette that hangs from your bottom lip.

I am always your silent observer, even when dreaming.

Speechless and still,
          stiller than
                    the waters

that run pathetically deep,
          or like some creeping
                    vine along

A New England
                    brick wall,

the Atlantic reeks a mere kiss away.

Tatiana Retivov received a B.A. in English literature from the University of Montana and an M.A. in Slavic languages and literature from the University of Michigan. She has lived in Kyiv, Ukraine, since 1994, where she runs an art & literature salon and a small publishing press that publishes prose, poetry, and nonfiction in Ukraine.