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We first invented running so we could be in two places

at one time but then understood how, with empty pockets,

we could also harvest the wind. We invented hospitality

to lure our successes home, and to get love a much-needed

drink. We invented chairs so we could rest after the chase.

We invented the chase after we invented running, and inadvertently,

robbery. We invented the suburbs after accidentally colliding

into the feud and its conniving stepsisters the argument

and the snit. Some of us needed more space.

We discovered death under the bridge

and someone insisted we take it home, that it needed

our help. That day alone we invented the handkerchief

and the whisper. When it sat up, when it looked at us

with the teeth of its appetite puddinged in its eyes, we discovered

the flapping of words trying to escape from our ears

and something hammering in the silver-shaft of our hearts.

We unearthed fear that day, our first act of real

archeology. Understand, at that point, maps charted roads

and the humble footpaths between rumours crooked

with love. The ocean took up the most room

with its tidal pull and tentacled beasts inventing

their own recipes. Some days we knew we were nothing

but ingredients; other days we felt like honoured guests.

But the day we brushed the dirt from fear's forehead

and got a look at its hands, well, our maps changed

and the ocean got bigger, our nights, a great deal beastier.


Sue Goyette

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translated from the Ukrainian written by
Halyna Kruk