[If I were entrusted with this city,]
If I were entrusted with this city,
not even the whole city but just this street,
I would start with that shop window
requesting the owner to remove those glossy mannequins
I have never gotten used to after so many years:
whenever I pass by, I think that they are living.
What are they doing wrong? Nothing.
How could they do anything worse?
Translated from the Georgian by the author and Tim Kercher.
Zviad Ratiani is from Tbilisi, Georgia and is the author of five books of poetry. He's been awarded the SABA, Georgia’s top poetry prize (2010), the Georgian Writer's Union yearly prize for the best poetry publication of the year (1995, 1997), the Bestseller Literary Prize for the poem "Fathers" (1999), the Goethe Institute Prize for Translation for a book of Paul Celan's poetry (1999), and the Vazha Pshavela Prize for his book, Roads and Days (2005). His poems have been translated and published in nine languages.
Timothy Kercher has spent the last six years overseas—four years in Georgia and two in Ukraine—and is now moving back to his home in Dolores, Colorado. He continues to translate contemporary poetry from the Republic of Georgia. He is a high school English teacher and has worked in five countries overseas—Mongolia, Mexico, and Bosnia being the others. His poems and translations have recently appeared or are forthcoming in a number of recent publications, including Crazyhorse, Versal, Plume, upstreet, Bateau, The Minnesota Review and others.