I ask her,
“What are you drawing all the time?” “These are men,” she answers, “and these are women.” “Why are your women always crying?” “They cry,” she replies, “for the wind, which was hidden in their hair;
they cry for the grapes harvested,
which tasted tart in their mouths.
And no one — neither men in clothes smelling of smoke,
nor children with golden scorpions
of disobedience in matchboxes,
can make them feel better.”

The love of men and women
is the tenderness and helplessness we receive,
a long list of gifts and losses,
the wind tossing your hair in May.

Oh, how hard it is to rely on the one
you trust, and how easy it is to be disappointed
in the one who touches your lips at night.

Some things are whimsical and invisible,
no matter how you color them,
they will always stay the same:

a star hangs above you,
the air roils with warmth.
So much light is hidden
in every woman’s throat,
so much trouble.

© Serhiy Zhadan

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