The Devil's Wheel

Translated by Misha Delibash

by Alex Galper

3 AM.
Speeding
down an empty highway
returning home from a fundraiser
for ''Devil Worshipers and Bikers for the Children of Broken Homes.''
How much steak did I stuff myself with...? not every pricey joint
's got that kind of quality meat.
Had 'bout a barrel of beer : falling asleep behind the wheel
... stay in lane, I'm praying.

Friends?
Enemies?
Why did I have to stuff myself?
I promised not to eat after 6 pm...
Where should I emigrate to next?
Russia? Ukraine? Israel? The moon?...

The bikers didn't like
my accent.
I tried explaining that
my works are translated
But they didn't seem to believe that languages
other than English exist.
How'd I prove it to them?
Which language do I perfect?
English? Russian? Ukrainian?
Hebrew?

Where did they find such juicy meat?
Where the hell were those misfortunate children from those broken homes?
Was it their meat we were eating?
Who taught these bikers
to make vodka sauce?

The highway
puts me to sleep.
Stay awake!
People
in helmets
tattooed head to toe
enter the stage
announcing:
''there are old bikers
there are fearless bikers
but there are no old and fearless bikers!''

What am I doing here
Among these fat men
in rough leather?
The devil's sweethearts
painted like parading Indians
reiterate about asylums, suicide, the devil...
... about death
and how wonderful it is not to fear Death
after Death.

Then the unfortunate
children of broken homes rave aloud
deliriously > nonsense
Oh, the boys are so cute
and so gay
and the girls all wear mini-skirts.
and the soiled tough men melt with smiles.

I awake:
someone is honking at me.
Shit! I'm in the opposite lane!
Surrounded
by a pack of my biker poets...
i return quickly into my lane
They saved me, damn it!

I wave to them in gratitude
and am escorted, with all the honors of
a loved culinary poetic superstar
to my doorstep
I hope you boys will live to see my age...

As I enter the lobby,
and, perhaps, if I'm not dreaming
or haven't died and
do not fear
death after death
I see:
fastened to the fat biker boys from behind
sitting chick
the lovely fruits of unfortunate homes...
their curls disappearing in the wind.

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