Avrom Sutskever: Oh My Brother

Oh My Brother
by Avrom Sutzkever

Oh my brother in our last autumn
with yellow laurel garland on your head
your screams fall like black hail
down on me and my poison pen.

I know you have spent your last days
like a flock of crows, hungry and sharp
and your longing does not play as before
with silken finger on blue heart.

But like a bear from downhearted sleep
with fanned out ready paws
it growls its heated growls
rebels at the chain, bites and gnaws

Oh my brother in last autumn
I too am like you now – and it may be
that my screams splash where you are
like lava into your bare heart.

And though I know we are apart
and between us brown barbed wire rusts
and on every border a big mouth guards
ready to cough deadly shots –