#Painting#Portrait#Stories about them

With flower

Oil on canvas



Between the steps that lead 

to the basement of KFC

and a litter-bin

on a tin windowsill

sits a man.

There’s blood on his hood and his brow.


I hold out 

what I carry around in my wallet 

all the time.

"Please let me…”

Though screwed up he is perfectly able 

to realize everything.

“Sure, OK”.

The credence with which 

he put back his head and pulled off the hood

broke my heart.

Now I can see his brow. And the blood.

I stick a plaster over his eye.

“Bad, huh?”

"Well, visible. Did you fall down?"

Certainly not. He was beaten.


When I went away I thought 

Was the plaster necessary?

But – let it be. Sobered up,

On his forehead he’ll find 

A sign.


Natalia Mandelshtam

Translation by Kira Usatenko