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The simplest words

The simplest words explain it all:
you’re just another voice in her life –
maybe the harshest, maybe the clearest.
Maybe she treats it as her own.
Maybe she can’t make it out at all.
No one knows what keeps you together.

No one knows what keeps you, besides the fear
of losing one another, what can keep together such a
torn cloth of epiphany, transformations, and delirium,
kept afloat by this weightless apparatus,
whose wing touches every one of your losses,
whose flight is weightless, whose drift is delirious.

Things died for are related to life itself,
are related to weightlessness, are related to support,
are related to all those things to which there is no relation.
They are related to faith, above all else –
it is related to all your hesitations,
all your doubts, all means of rescue.

But life deserves rapture.
Although the Lord forgot about faith long ago:
He’s got neither time nor luck.
Don’t fear death and emptiness.
God sees the same things you do.
Except that he remembers what he sees.

You can try to prove something to him,
you can say it’s all your fault,
for some reason, for some end.
God hides in the grand. God is darkness.
I saw him. I told that he doesn’t exist.
He even agreed but this does nothing for me.

So sing, Maria, sing, don’t ask awkward questions.
Death does not adjust habits and tastes.
Death adjusts tickets and roadmaps.
I’m not so spent at this final judgment.
After living on bread and water in a broken country
who can judge me and with what can they scare me?

Sing, harpooners, headed for the bottom in the middle of the sea,
sing, the exiled, let it be known that you don’t care,
that exile did not take away your faith.
Faith is what keeps you in the saddle
when your chances are so slim,
that even your commanders leave you alone.

The heather and the black grass will flower.
Your rights, a thank you at the end, and a dedication on the first page
will always be with you.
Her voices will always be with you.
Cary them with you, harpooner, carry them,
like a weapon in pocket, like birds in a cage.

Text © Serhiy Zhadan
English translation © Mark Andryczyk and Yaryna Yakubyak

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