Two poems by Yevgeniya Traps, third place winner,
The College Alumni Society Poetry Prizes, 2001


Villanelle

Look here, how the night is tender--
Moon slowly weeping rain--
And she is torn; I do not mend her.

This here is life, that which she renders,
All that I see through clear pane:
Oh lovely that the night is tender.

The moon is mean, it is a sender
Of news that is not quite sane
And she is broken and unmended

Ready to blind with blended
Light. What is it that she hopes to feign?
She gloats and turns the night to tender.

And what an offer--I remember
She gains, loses, gains again:
She has no need for me to mend her.

Tonight its cold, tonight its finer
Finer than the finest pain.
I think the night is cruel and tender.
I know I shouldnt hope to mend her.



Before Falling Asleep

Many a night, I lie awake,
Awake but dreaming,
Sinking into the bed, my head
Twisted, my hands
Under the blanket and
Reaching, reaching for the galaxies
Beyond all comprehension, beyond
Awake, still awake
Till the moment of it all melting away--
I am neither here nor there--
Oh sweetheart, I am drowning, in honey, in caramel, in
Nowhere and no one.



Fear of the Sun

Fear no more the heat o' the sun
Nor the furious winters rages.


1.

How this Winter has got a hold of us:
She is obsessed, covering us with her cool cold cloak.
And I am the great untouchable.
You do not touch me.

You do not touch my hands, my body
Appalls. I do not think you love me--

You love the cold comfort of a lie.
You love the snow,

Pure and prostrate under the heavy moon
And we both fear the sun,

Its warm sex, its lusty promiscuity.
Look how it shines for everyone.

2.

Every woman is a whore and every man a liar--
Together they drink tea and make decisions;

It is cold and simple:
Birth and gesture and death

And violets springing from the grave.
It is dull and flat, coming and going

While we are waiting for something better or worse,
Sweet and bitter,

A respite, a pause, a crime, a punishment--
Day turning into night.