- Kholodnaya Voyna
You must admit that you have put me in a terriblePosition—I am in love with you and willLove you until the world becomes coldIn fear of my love; I am only twenty-two, young,I know that soon you will be old and toothless,But nonetheless, my love will continue, stubbornly, simply—
For I met you, simply—In a classroom (I am sure I looked terrible)Speaking Russian like a baby, my words, dripping, toothless—But of course I had the will to learn, and I have the willTo love—despite the fact that I am youngAnd you are (like Moscow in the winter) hopelessly cold
Yet what must one do to combat the cold?Stay inside, wear layers, clench bodies—contain it, simply.And I believe the winter of our love is quite youngFlurries falling like baby teeth from the sky, not terrible—But it is you, the Slavic God of Winter, whose obstinacy willStop let the sky's smile become gummy and toothless. [End Page 67]
I understand that this poem to you is ineffectual, toothless,As you are attached and married to that cold"Beautiful" weasel of a woman (who speaks broken English) and willBirth two half-weasel half-lovely children, (who will simplyGrow up to be absolutely terrible)—Wouldn't you want more for your young?
And me? I am still quite young,American, fertile, vulnerable, though my words are toothless—I am not yet disenchanted by my world I am not yet terrible,I have not let the sun dry my brain, nor have I allowed the coldTo smother my choices, to ruin my day, simply:I have freedoms I have desires that I will
Pursue at will—The country of my love is still fresh and youngDon't you see? Unlike Russia, who continues to simplyTrudge along, still beautiful, but bruised, tired, nearly toothlessI know that you are centuries older than me, but you are not coldTo the youth, to the freedom of my love! Am I so terrible
(So terrible) that you cannot love me at will?During the Cold War, I was but a child, still youngToothless, rebellious, but I am warmer now, and will continue on, simply. [End Page 68]
Marianne Chan was born on a crab apple tree in the rural depths of Indianapolis, Indiana. She spent half of her life on three military bases in Germany, and the other half studying Theatre and English in DeWitt,Lansing and East Lansing, Michigan. Her hobbies include jogging, eating raw fish, talking frantically and counting her breaths as the church bells ring. She would like to thank Jack, Patricia, and Rammel Chan, Greg Teachout, Diane Wakoski, her poetry group and each one of her friends for their marvelous feedback and encouragement. She hopes to continue a life of writing and traveling.