A cycle of poems about the War

by Khrystia Vengryniuk

Translated from the Ukrainian by Dmytro Kyyan

When you make a shot where the snow lies now,
I have my veins twitch and I wake up.
I screw up my eyes.
I fly away. 
Imagining HOW you are standing there.
And white rings are all in blood
And all that makes us happy in our brain:
Suddenly burns out, and hardly being alive
I go to the kitchen for water and communion.
And then morning comes, like wound and dream
And warmth is flowing between my wet thighs,
You make a shot again and my smooth forehead
Is being covered with drops of grievance
Of the Sky itself. 
This is the way the days pile up in the retina of the eyes.
As if the whole Universe is the target now.
I drop my face and sharp shoulder

Shoot. Shoot!
If only no one shoots at You.

Jan 9, 2017     


Nothing remains in place of this city
The snowstorm stopped, venom left.
[You are gone].
And when you break the hands of a system.
When you spit on it from above.
When it’s a mere walk for you even to the sky,
The light explodes,
God plays snowballs and smokes drap.
And it is only somewhere else,
Where my sun goes up,
You fall asleep and quietly moan:
"And how's the brother there?"
And the brother puts on the German boots
And splits his burning heart open – 
Counts losses.
And I look at the Koran and the Torah,
And having read the whole Testament again,
Find responses, with questions only.
And God's body is carried at dawn.

I made up nothing, but I remember everything.
All these wars and all these anxieties.
If I recall everything very well
I waited very faithfully,
When there was nothing to wait for.

Jan 10, 2017     


Anticipating you seize talking,
I lie down into the cocoon and freeze.   
These embraces fly following between us     
Somewhere at the bottom of the war, I look for you.
Like cold water from the bucket,
Like sticky in the morning
Predatory wind.  
I see neither a river nor a bank,
Where our shadows hide in shells.
Unfolding into rhymes and bones,
Talking to the eyes of passersby.
I am coming to you by guess,
Knowing only name and half-breath.
God gives me new words.
Death gives you new ammunition.
I waded quietly across the blood.
Like a little bird, I took off your house.  

Jan 11, 2017     

Caitlyn Garcia