Timeline (Tonality/Backyard Laptop, Texas)
by Elina Petrova


“When you realize there is nothing lacking…” ~ Lao Tzu

There is not much to wish for beyond
what is currently here – early
afternoon in the backyard,
a patio table under an oak,
wind shifting sun splashes
on the red bird-house.
I have loved people in love
since I was a sick girl, often –
with a compress at my throat –
smiling out the window at boys
carrying schoolbags for my girlfriends,
who forgot to visit me. The word
“own” never passed my lips. The world
span – the No-One's-Rose, a kaleidoscope
juggling with petals-splinters
of the shell-shocked heart. After
many dead years, and years alive
near the dying, each day is splendid –
the longed-for water from cupped hands,
or that slow, crystal movement
from Mozart’s 23-rd, where the swift
fingers of Horowitz hover low over the keys –
swallows before rain, passing
a scrolling text from subtler frequencies.
A semitone is the most dissonant
when it sounds harmonically, yet
the options are thrilling. Whether we sip
one martini with two straws, whether
I choose red-flesh tomatoes at fresh
markets of the Gulf Coast, or a ticket
to East Ukraine where smoke
from roadblocks eddies up to a jet –
as long as tonality is true,
there is not much lacking.

Backyard Laptop, Texas

Honeysuckle with Thai spice
waft from behind the fence.
Gravel sparkle quartz-white
on my cat’s burial place.
A red cardinal brings me to tears
with the intensity of his beauty.
Perhaps, it’s not even about him
but a wish to caress the day
at low tide: calm, lukewarm
like Gulf foam at four p.m.
when my timeline bursts –
the blood pump with news
from East Ukraine, where
I left my father.

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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