To cover up the tracks they brushed away the dirt Now you can curse at me, deride me, and despise me. The horizon is my finish line, the very edge of earth! I’ll be the first to race to the horizon! The wager had its terms. Both parties made demands And then shook hands in clear hesitation. There’s really just one rule: I ride until the end, The highway’s end, and never change direction. The shaft is reeling in the miles. I ride along the power lines. Still every now and then I see a shadow: A man in black? A black cat? A black widow! They will not play it clean. I know it for a fact. I know exactly when they’ll try to slash my tires. I know where with a smirk they’ll sabotage my act And where across the road they’ll stretch the wire. The power to the max, the needles sunk and jammed, The sand, like bullets, dashes by my side, and I just clamp the bar until my wrists are cramped: There’s little time before the screws are tightened. The shaft is reeling in the miles. I ride straight up the power lines. They’re coming down hard now, but I hope That I will pass before they raise the rope. My stomach is in knots. The climax’s coming fast. The asphalt starts to melt. I smell the rubber burning. The rope snaps in two. I break it with my chest. I am alive, and you can stop your mourning. Whoever forced me to accept this crazy bet In their dirty tricks are quite ferocious. The gambling spirit’s high, but still it must be said: On slippery turns I am being cautious. The shaft is reeling in the miles. I tear across the lines and through the wires. I only hope the losers will get wiser When I show up on the horizon! My destination point is still so far away. I haven’t crossed the line but I am done with wires. The rope didn’t cut between my vertebrae But suddenly, at the wheels, shots are fired! I did not start this ride for money or for pride. The question I’d been asked was so enticing: Is there indeed an end, a limit beyond sight? Can one expand his borders and horizons? The shaft is reeling in the miles. The bullets, I evade them with a smile. But suddenly the brakes are failing - crazy! - And straight through the horizon I am blazing!
© Vadim Astrakhan. Translation, 2011
© Vadim Astrakhan. Performance, 2011