Saturday, September 24, 2022



into the sweet orchard

you will go, woman, into the sweet orchard

a bone through a throat

a chunk of clay that melts

slowly burying yourself

in the dark pond of his body

you'll go as if into a river

first — a large fish

with a white belly full of dreams

second — a bloody berry

a closed fist full of bitter seeds

third — an empty jar

with a narrow

neck full of song

each time you enter you won't have a name

each time you enter you'll carry a mouthful of names

you'll swallow them beyond the gates

so that again you won't have any

so that you can return


Iryna Shuvalova

Pray to the Empty Wells

translated by Olena Jennings

Lost Horse Press, 2019