Andriy Lyubka

Andriy Lyubka reads his poem "Жінка, яка голить ноги у твоїй ванній" or "This woman, shaving her legs in your bathroom".

This woman in your bathroom, shaving her legs
will celebrate her twenty-fourth birthday tomorrow.
Though 'celebrate' is perhaps too loud a word
she merely will ring her mum and dad
and say her prayers before she goes to bed.
You do not understand her prayers, nor her enigmatic glances
the language used in menus of her phone
You two are not predestined to be together, which is for the best,
you say to yourself: 'It is for the best'
In moments of uncommon gentleness you say
you believe they have no nuclear weapons,
no nuclear weaponry at all, and feel like an arse.
And then you have a dream in which her body
smells like nuclear weapons, like the deserts, like the music of the Roma.
'But why the Roma?' -- you wonder the next morning,
alas there is no answer to that question; you know nothing
about her childhood years, about the place where she received
[ her English language education,
and why exactly did she choose you and not somebody else.
You two have been together for three weeks so far. And sometimes
[ you examine the world map,
as you make an evaluation of the location of Iran, its neighbours,
and its resources, natural and human.
You reckon that, as time goes by, you will understand her better.
At times you ask her questions about Iran, and promise her that you
[ will travel there together,
and she still smells of Roma summer and nuclear weapons,
her desert is between the two of you, the evening's getting nearer,
and she is in your bath, shaving her legs.



Жінка, яка голить ноги у твоїй ванній,
Завтра відсвяткує свої 24.
Хоча <<відсвяткує>> - заголосно сказано,
Просто подзвонить додому батькам
І помолиться ввечері.
Ти не розумієш її молитов, її загадкових поглядів,
Мови меню в її телефоні.
Вам не суджено бути разом, воно й на добре,
Кажеш собі, воно й на добре.
У хвилини особливої ніжності ти кажеш,
Що віриш, що в них немає ядерної зброї,
Жодної ядерної зброї, і відчуваєш себе придурком.
Потім тобі сниться, що її тіло
Пахне ядерною зброєю, пустелями і циганськими піснями.
Чому циганськими -- питаєш себе зранку,
Але відповіді на це немає, ти не знаєш
Як минало її дитинство і де вона вивчила англійську,
Чому обрала саме тебе.
Ви разом три тижні. Часом ти розглядаєш карту світу,
Оцінюючи розташування Ірану, його сусідів,
Природні й людські ресури.
Тобі здається, що розумієш її все краще.
Іноді розпитуєш її про Іран, обіцяєш поїхати туди з нею,
А вона все пахне циганським літом і ядерною зброєю,
І така пустеля між вами, і насувається вечір,
І вона голить ноги в твоїй ванній.


Andriy Lyubka is a Ukrainian poet, translator and essayist, born in 1987. He is the author of "Eight months of schizophrenia" (poetry, 2007), "Terrorism" (poetry, 2009), "40 Dollars with a Tip" (poetry, 2012) and "Killer" (short stories, 2012). A selection of his poems was translated into German and published in Austria as "Notaufname" (Innsbruck: Edition BAES, 2012 ), and his collection of short stories was translated into Polish as "Killer" (Wroclaw: Biuro literackie, 2013). He has collaborated with numerous publications in Ukrainian and foreign literary magazines, and is a columnist for Radio Liberty. His literary awards include the Debut (2007) and Kyiv Lawry (2011) prizes. He has curated international poetry festival such as "Kyiv Lawry" (2008, 2009, 2010, 2013) and "Meridian Czernowitz" (2012), and edited a special issue of the journal "Tygiel kultury" (Lodz, Poland, 2010). He has read in Kiev, Berlin, Innsbruck, Warsaw, Krakow, Lodz, Istanbul, Moscow, and Vienna. Some of his works are translated into Hungarian, Czech, Portuguese, German, Russian and Polish. Andriy Lyubka lives and works in Warsaw, Poland.