my little grandmother
knows no pain
she believes that
hunger – is food
nakedness – is a wealth
thirst – is water

her body like a vine wraps itself around her walking stick
her hair is bee’s wings
she swallows the sun-speckles of pills
she calls Internet the telephone to America

her heart has turned into a rose – all you can do
is smell it
pressing yourself into her breasts
otherwise it’s no good
it’s a rose

her arms like stork’s legs
red sticks
and I’m on my knees
and I howl as a wolf
at the white full moon of your skull
I am saying: this is not pain
just the embrace of a very strong god
one with an unshaven cheek that scratches when he kisses you

Valzhyna Mort
translated by Katie Farris and Ilya Kaminsky

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