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from the August 2007 issue

Unity of Form

I've always received
kingly presents. I got
worn-out pans
and rusted teapots,
patched up bedsheets
and unstitched shirts,
books, missing pages
ripped out for rollies
and a piano with knocked-out teeth
on the keyboard, chairs without legs
and burnt out light bulbs,
writing paper from the times of
the Chinese cultural
revolution, whatever you
write on it--
bloodstains appear through
its tissue. People zealously
granted me headless nails
and spools without thread,
clocks without hands, glasses
without lenses, an empty tube
of toothpaste.
Once I was awarded with
a camera without a lens.
They were going to confer me
a number of "valuable and essential"
items, but I apprehensively
hid in the underground,
and kept my coordinates
a secret. Some
gifts are still with me,
and now I live
with no idea about
place (glasses without lenses),
activity (an eyeless
camera), and time
(a clock without hands).

Copyright Regina Derieva. Translation copyright 2007 by Valzhyna Mort. All rights reserved.

Read Regina Derieva's "Dark Thoughts"

Read more from the August 2007 issue
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