Photo of

Alexey Tarasov is an author from Russia.


Trigger Warning

The first one said, “You should agree, bro.
We need one more man in the crew, to finish the project tomorrow.”
“Our friend’s on a bender,” the second one added.
“The manager’s just a beast. We’re done for without you.”
The third one crumpled a cigarette in silence, then gave him a long stare in the eyes.
A corner of the sky got wet, a rain storm might be coming.
Well, no. Not yet.

So look, they walked out early, they stroll past the stores, garbage dumps, and pits.
Three of them are in worn out overalls and helmets,
The forth one in everyday clothes.
They arrived. Had a smoke break. Each took his tools.
The first one waived his hand…

The horse under the First is blinding like snow on a bright day.
He passes, and kids’ hair turns silver.
A voice sounds above the wailing sirens, “Come and see!”
But it hurts to look because tears have turned into ground glass.
Every breath gurgles like the laughter of a hyena whose belly’s ripped out.
The sky oozes out puss. Everyone knows they’re going to die soon.
But Death isn’t here yet.

The Second’s horse is red like rust, it’s the hybrid color.
The broken iambus of young soldiers follows it.
The wrists of roads are slashed with the furrows of useless trenches.
Those who were ready to do the same yesterday are rumpled with fear.
The white dots in the sky are the last salute of victory of all above all.
Cities are going to turn into pits of melted glass,
But Death isn’t here yet.

The Third, on a black horse, is dried-up like Don Quixote.
He smokes crude oil – and water turns into oil too.
All food in the bellies turns into slimy blind worms.
The reserves of buckwheat and mothers picked cucumbers will be eaten first,
Then the disabled and doves are going to follow.
Death will eat all the rest. It’s time now, after all.
But Death isn’t here yet.

There’s a substitute instead of Death. He’s agreed, and he regrets now.
He’s on an old courier’s bike instead of a horse.
He has a green box with an inscription “Delivery Club” on his shoulders.
He looks at his tablet with a frown. His lips move.
He delivers what everyone has chosen, payment after delivery.
Someone’s getting a pizza. Salvation for someone else.
But most often they order emptiness.
Listen! The doorbell rings.

Leave a Reply