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A Poem by Lesyk Panasiuk: ‘Within the Hospital Rooms of My Nation’


Letters of the alphabet go to conflict
clinging to at least one one other, standing up, forming phrases nobody needs to shout,
sentences which might be blown by the mines within the avenues, tales
shelled by a number of rocket launches.

A Ukrainian phrase
is ambushed: Via the damaged window of
the letter д different international locations watch how the letter і
loses its head, how the roof of the letter м
falls via.

The language in a time of conflict
can’t be understood. Inside this sentence
is a gap—nobody needs to die—nobody
speaks. By the hospital mattress of the letter й
lies a prosthesis it’s too shy to make use of.
You possibly can see the sunshine via the clumsily sewn-up holes
of the letter ф—the delicate signal has its tongue torn out
on account of disagreements concerning
the etymology of torture. There’s an excessive amount of alphabet
within the hospital rooms of my nation, an excessive amount of, too
a lot alphabet, no place to stay an apostrophe; paint falls off
the partitions, showering us with phrases incomprehensible
like males who, in wartime, refuse to talk.

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