Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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translation from Ukrainian by Alan Zhukovski

The Air We Breathed

This fox screams to the moon.
She gets round all my traps
as if nothing has happened,
as if it doesn’t concern her.

Earlier, she wore necklaces,
thus ever increasing
their value. She wrapped herself
in a shawl, and it was
like a sunflower field,
with birds walking through it
to pick every grain
of late tenderness.

When she was angry,
fury ascended through her veins,
like moisture in a rose stem.

The most important thing in love
is to never believe what is said.
She cried, “Leave me in peace,”
while really trying to say,
“Tear my heart apart.”
She refused to talk to me,
but her real intention was
to refuse to exhale the air.

As if she wanted to harm me
even more.

As if the air we breathed
was our biggest problem.  

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