Steven Andreev

November 29, 1994 - London
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Spring Trip to London

The weary winter passed to leave us with nothing but
Estrangement from each other. As I sat in my damp student dorm,
Writing essay on Alienation, alternating between shots of
Tea, vodka and gin, brooding about the last time I saw you alone.

Nothing interrupted my concentrated efforts, besides the sound of
Keyboard under my fingers, until a bird chirped by my window
And awoke me to notice the first carnations of season. I rushed
To my bedroom, grabbed a tweed jacket and ran to train station.

Before leaving I caught a glimpse of the bird (it was a pigeon),
Still watching curiously my unexpected departure. “Why hurry
If you don’t know where you aim to go?” - it seemed to ask me
Before flying off into West Midlands pasture.

That day was a Sunday, and I thought of the Armenian Church
in London, that would one day become the premise of
My future existence both in winters and summers, where
I would strive to find refuge from storm and tempest.

Back then, I arrived at Marylebone, interrupting my solitude
With a group of schoolchildren, who were leaving the platform,
where just a month ago I bought you white roses which broke
My heart more so than yours (if not in fact, then in form).

I stood off the station and breathed in the air of London,
And timidly walked by Victorian buildings, that missed the sun
After the long winter, no less than I missed the freedom, that already
Was mingled in my mind with the touch on my cheek of your fingers.

Passing Hyde Park, I stared at the landscape, underlined by
Rushing clouds, panoply of colours, redolent flowers.
I walked by the Kensington Palace and thought for a second,
That we could exist in this realm if I eventually dared.

Hyde Park ended at High Street, another turn and I was at
Iverna Gardens, and my thoughts got distracted by the tender
Feeling at the scene of a dome of Armenian Church
Appearing from behind poplar trees and rose garden.

At that moment - just once - there appeared to be no alienation
Between me and you, us and them, my love, my next of kin.
I entered the Church and saw Father Hovakim, but
Of course, I did not know his name back then.

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