[we swallowed an air like earth]

by Marianna Kiyanovska

we swallowed an air like earth
the kind of black
neighbors garden together

and in that black
as in a fleshy cherry
sweet and bitter
and in that sweet and that bitter
salt and flesh

we stored in our lungs many years beforehand
not the cherry plum
another tree
some of us exhaled cherry pits
some bullets

stones bulged from their sockets
and became eyes

everything else became memory
air, fire

Translated from the Ukrainian by Oksana Lutsyshyna and Kevin Vaughn


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