Alligator punches out at five, grabs his hat, ready to go. ( Я крокодил )
He plays the accordion– // гармо́н
Such a shame, such a shame!
Balloons, streamers, the kinds of things worth celebrating
Only once
Once a year
His birthday.
K sozhalyen’yoo. // К сожаленью
Little bear, Cheburashka, bouncing out of his crate
( Чебурашка )
Chaos, and the kinds of things
Worth ripping up the Soviet norm // всегда готов!
To build a new living space
(same as the old place)
A birthday
Tolka raz // Только раз
Raz v godu // Раз в году.
(What good is just one day?)
A pioneer, a sad man,
Animals which stalk the streets v somnitel’nosti,
( они сомнительны )
They only came to this city
For the hopes of jobs
Carried off
By blue helicopters
Reflected in puddles // Пешеходы по лужам
V kotorix, ( в которых )
they themselves are the kinds of faces only seen
From a distance.
What a shame.
K sozhalyen’yoo // К сожаленью
Dyen rozhdeniya // день рожденья
Tolka raz v godu // Только раз в году.


Lauren Dostal is a native Floridian writing out of Tampa. She studied Russian language in college and lived for a short while in Ukraine before graduating. She has work in Entropy, Hobart, Luna Luna, Yes, Poetry, and others. She is a prose poetry reader for Pithead Chapel.