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Inna Lisynanskaya




Translated by Karen Blomain and Maya Pertrukhina




Three Pictures


Above the jail the moon
Drops tears through
Cloudy lashes

Beyond the black
Dense bars
A man's face
Melts like snow.
The man is not free

Bluebells strain
Against glass
Senseless mutiny
Lilac blooms
At the center of the table
The flower is not free.

The burning bush
Hollow
Barren
Christ white-faced
Taken from the cross
The crucified are always free.



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If you died
A wolf would still be a wolf,
Not a sheep.
A snake, a snake, not a dove.
And I would still love.

I would become the rain.
A willow crying over your tomb.



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          Under the ominous shadow of stone trees
                              —Ella Krjulova

Nothing is foreign to me—
Neither things long gone,
Nor this regime.
Neither the coals lost in ash,
The twilight stars,
The still sea,
Nor the table's dust.
I came to learn
How to live and how to die.

I cannot enter the garden of justice
Through another's gate,
With eyes burnt, stung with salt,
And an orphan soul.