[people carry explosives around the city]

by Boris Khersonsky

people carry explosives around the city
in plastic shopping bags and little suitcases
they trample the cobblestone we learn their secrets
only the day after and even then it’s just checking the facts

how many windows shattered how many collapsed balconies
did anyone die or is everyone alive and kicking
only frightened that there is no more peaceful life perhaps
war happens and the laws of war are a cruel thing

or perhaps there are no more laws and explosions are now the norm
we don’t get up from the table just shiver and shed some hope
an enemy chooses weapons as a thief finds the pick for a door
when in fact the door is already open

Translated from the Russian by Olga Livshin and Andrew Janco

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