1. So I’m writing about her again,
about the balconies
and our conversations at home.

I remember what she
hid from me,
what she kept in between the pages
of that anthology with all those damned poets
who constantly spoiled
our lives.

“Last summer,” she said, “something happened to my heart. It started to drift, like a ship,
whose crew had died
of fever.
It moved deep within my breath,
caught by the currents,
attacked by sharks.

I always said,
Heart, dear heart, no sails or ropes
will help you.
The stars are too far away
to guide us.
Heart, dear heart,
too many men
have signed up for your crews,
too many of them have stayed behind in British ports,
losing their souls
to the tears of the green dragon of alcohol.”

So I also
remember her legs, which I was ready
to fight for to the death,
and I repeat after her,
“Heart, dear heart, sick with fever,
get well soon,
recover quickly,
so much burning love awaits us,
so many beautiful tragedies
hide from us on the open seas.
Heart, dear heart,
I am overjoyed to hear
you beat,
like a fox —
but never tamed.”

© Serhiy Zhadan

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