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my grandmother

doesn’t know pain

she believes that

famine is nutrition

poverty is wealth

thirst is water

her body like a grapevine winding around a walking stick

her hair bees’ wings

she swallows the sun-speckles of pills

and calls the internet the telephone to america

her heart has turned into a rose the only thing you can do is smell it

pressing yourself to her chest

there’s nothing else you can do with it

only a rose

her arms like stork’s legs

red sticks

and i am on my knees

howling like a wolf

at the white moon of your skull


i’m telling you it’s not pain

just the embrace of a very strong god

one with an unshaven cheek that scratches when he kisses you

from Factory of TearsFind it in the library

Copyright © 2008 Valzhyna Mort (Trans. Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright and Franz Wright)
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in Poems Valzhyna Mort

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