A. MOLOTKOV Proper Darkness

A railroad in winter.
A numb sky.
I hold my breath.
Even the most insignificant statements are final.
Words outlive silence.

What’s uttered, remains on both ends.

If only I could hide myself
under last year’s mask of leaves,
absorb their colors.
Nothing we say amounts to what we mean,
yet we say.

I love the darkness in my mouth when it’s closed.



Born in Russia, A. Molotkov moved to the US in 1990 and switched to writing in English in 1993. His poetry collections are The Catalog of Broken Things (2016), Application of Shadows (Main Street Rag, September 2018) and Synonyms for Silence (2019). Molotkov is winner of various fiction and poetry contests and an Oregon Literary Fellowship. His translation of a Chekhov story was included by Knopf in their Everyman Series. He co-edits The Inflectionist Review. Please visit him at AMolotkov.com.