Inside my box I do not have nine,
but only two lives. I love boxes very
much. It’s always quiet in there and
I still wait for something to happen.
Then they open the box very carefully
and every time I’m alive and I’m not alive,
and I go for a walk and I don’t.
Then they give me a bowl of warm milk,
I purr and drink and after a while they
put me back in my glassy cage with the other
cats which are alive and not alive.
But the only thing that I really want is a ball
of black yarn and maybe they don’t want
to give me one, because they’re jealous.
Maybe those humans can’t stand the thought
that I dwell constantly in the middle of those places
they call heaven and hell.
The fruits of knowledge were eaten long ago!
Is that so?
All the great books have been written!
You don’t say!
But I love to lie down in the snow and read the blank
pages of my journal.
In the silence of the night I write with my
bone pen with ink from the river of forgetfulness,
which I will remember forever.
It flows from west to east and somewhere in the
middle it meet the sun and they talk to each other
in hushed tones.
That’s where we’re all going. The road is covered
with dust and next to the crossroad there is a sign corroded
with rust. Under it an old man is sitting. With a pencil
stub he writes in the air. That’s how he talks to the fish
and the stars. That’s how he creates everything again.
Tonight the moon
was not up in the sky
and at first no one
except the barefoot
old man hanging
from a barn beam
and slowly swaying
in the eternal darkness
© Peycho Kanev
Peycho Kanev is the author of four poetry collections and two chapbooks. He has won several European awards for his poetry and he’s nominated for the Pushcart Award and Best of the Net. Translations of his books will be published soon in Italy, Poland, and Russia. His poems have appeared in more than 900 literary magazines, including Poetry Quarterly, Evergreen Review, Hawaii Review, Cordite Poetry Review, Sheepshead Review, Off the Coast, The Adirondack Review, The Coachella Review, Two Thirds North, Sierra Nevada Review, and The Cleveland Review.